Opposition to Wimbledon expansion grows as MPs urge councils to reject plans

Wimbledon Park’s Huge Plan Includes a Stadium and 38 Tennis Courts (Flyer)

Opposition to a grand plan to renovate Wimbledon continues to mount as two lawmakers from southwest London argued this week against the proposed developments.

The All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has submitted bids for 39 tennis courts at the Wimbledon Park Golf Course, including an 8,000-seat court, but has faced mounting criticism from local residents and groups who claim it would negatively affect the environment. .

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond and Putney MP Fleur Anderson on Monday said the plans were “inadequate” and the Merton and Wandsworth Councils should reject the proposal.

The 38 proposed new courts would be used for the Wimbledon qualifying rounds, rather than the club’s nearby Roehampton venue, and for player training during the competition.

The proposal calls for full planning permission for the tennis courts and associated infrastructure, which would include “landscape reprofiling and tree removal, retention and replanting”.

The plan also calls for the provision of a boardwalk around the perimeter and across Lake Wimbledon Park, alterations to the lake, roadworks to Church Road and new pedestrian access points.

“Local residents appreciate the existing world-class sporting event in our area, however there is strong local opposition to these plans,” Hammond and Anderson said in a joint statement.

“The new Wimbledon Park area is a small part of the development that will have no protection from future development and will be closed to the public for at least 5 weeks each summer.

“The size and mass of the new concert hall stadium is of an inadequate scale to be built on Metropolitan Open Land.”

The two lawmakers requested that the councils hold a “special full planning committee” to discuss the development proposal only.

“We both agree on the importance of protecting our local green spaces, responding to the climate emergency, and carefully and rigorously examining all proposed developments that will affect the communities we represent,” the statement said.

An AELTC spokesperson told The Standard that the plan involves opening up previously private land “for the enjoyment of residents in Merton and Wandsworth”.

“We hope that these benefits… like increasing the site’s biodiversity and planting 1,500 trees, will provide a lasting legacy for our community to enjoy for years to come.

“We are always open to comments, questions and comments from our local communities.

“Throughout this process, which began more than a year ago, we have held a number of community engagement events and continued to proactively consult with local residents and elected officials.”

Wandsworth’s development planning consultation ends on Tuesday.

Merton planning inquiries can be made by sending an email to planning.representations@merton.gov.uk with reference number 21/P2900. Closes August 15th.

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