Fleur Anderson and Stephen Hammond issue joint statement
CGI of the aerial view of the completed scheme. Picture: AELTC
Two MPs from different parties have come out against plans for a huge expansion of Wimbledonâ€™s world-famous tennis club. The local representatives have called on Merton and Wandsworth councils to hold a special meeting to determine the controversial planning application.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) wants to expand into Wimbledon Park Golf Club under plans that would span 67 hectares between Wimbledon and Wandsworth. The club said the plans, which include an 8,000-seat show court, would bring â€œsubstantial public benefitâ€ to the area.
The Conservative MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond, and Labour MP for Putney Fleur Anderson, have issued a joint statement in opposition to the plans. They say they have met with local residentsâ€™ associations and held public meetings on the application.
The pair said, â€œWe both agree on the importance of protecting our local green spaces, responding to the climate emergency, and carefully and rigorously scrutinising all proposed developments that will impact the communities we represent.
â€œWe therefore jointly object to the AELTC planning application for building an 8,000-seater stadium and 38 temporary use grass courts on Metropolitan Open Land. Local residents appreciate the existing world class sports event in our area, however there is strong local opposition to these plans.
â€œThe new area of Wimbledon Park is a small part of the development which will not have any protection against future development and will be mainly closed to the public for at least five weeks each summer. The size and mass of the new show court stadium is of an inappropriate scale to be built on Metropolitan Open Land.â€
Public consultation on the plans closes with Wandsworth Council on Tuesday (2 August) and on Monday, 15 August for Merton Council. An AELTC spokesperson said, â€œThe Wimbledon Park Project proposals were designed with two core objectives in mind: to maintain The Championships at the pinnacle of tennis and to provide substantial public benefit to our local community.
â€œTherefore, central to our proposals is the creation of a new 9.4-hectare park that will open to the public previously private land, as well as a new boardwalk around Wimbledon Park lake. We believe these benefits, alongside others such as an increase in biodiversity of the site and the planting of 1,500 trees, will provide a lasting legacy for our community to enjoy for years to come.â€
Tara O'Connor - Local Democracy Reporter
August 2, 2022