Opposition to the Wimbledon extension is growing as MPs call on councils to reject the plans

Wimbledon's huge park plan includes a stadium and 38 tennis courts (Handout)

Wimbledon’s huge park plan includes a stadium and 38 tennis courts (Handout)

Opposition to a major plan to revamp Wimbledon continues to grow as two South West London MPs this week argued against the proposed development.

The All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has put forward proposals for 39 tennis courts at Wimbledon Park Golf Course, including an 8,000-seat show court, but has faced growing criticism from local residents and groups who claim it would have a negative impact on the environment. .

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

The proposed 38 new courts would be used for the Wimbledon qualifying rounds, in place of the club’s grounds in nearby Roehampton, and player training during the competition.

The proposal seeks full planning permission for the tennis courts and associated infrastructure, which would include “re-profiling the landscape and the removal, retention and replanting of trees”.

The plan also calls for a promenade around the perimeter of and across Wimbledon Park Lake, lake changes, motorway works to Church Road and new pedestrian access points.

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

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

“The size and massing of the new show track stadium is of an inappropriate scale to be built on Metropolitan Open Land.”

The two MPs have asked councils to hold a “special planning committee” to discuss the development proposal only.

“We both agree on the importance of protecting our local green spaces, responding to the climate crisis, and carefully and thoroughly scrutinizing any proposed development that will affect the communities we represent,” the statement said.

An AELTC spokesman told the Standard the plan involves opening up formerly private land “to be enjoyed by the people of Merton and Wandsworth”.

“It is our hope that these benefits … such as an increase in the 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.

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

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

Wandsworth planning consultation on the development closes on Tuesday.

Merton’s planning consultation can be lodged by emailing planning.representations@merton.gov.uk quoting reference number 21/P2900. It closes on August 15.

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