All England Club announces planned expansion will be public parkland

The All England Club has announced more of its planned expansion will be public parkland as it awaits a decision from the Greater London Authority.

The controversial plans, which were submitted to local authorities nearly three years ago, would see the size of Wimbledon’s grounds almost triple in size if approved.

They include a new 8,000-seat stadium and 38 other courts on land previously used by Wimbledon Golf Club, but there has been vocal opposition from some local residents and the area’s two MPs.

An image showing the new proposed parkland
An image showing the new proposed public parkland (Allies & Morrison/AELTC)

Central to the All England Club’s efforts to win over local residents has been the inclusion of public parkland, and on Thursday it announced that an extra four acres has been added in the northern part of the site, increasing the total to 27 acres.

Chair Debbie Jevans said: “I am delighted that, following the many thousands of conversations we have had with local people about our plans, and working with the Greater London Authority, we are now able to propose even more green space for Londoners to enjoy, on land that has been inaccessible to the public for more than 100 years.

A CGI image of the proposed new show court
A CGI image of the proposed new show court (Allies & Morrison/AELTC)

The news was met with derision by the Save Wimbledon Park group, with chair Iain Simpson saying in a statement: “AELTC’s proposed minor modifications are extremely disappointing and change nothing. The area will still become exactly what we said three years ago – a huge industrial tennis complex.

“These tiny amendments are an insult to the community AELTC claim to be part of.”

Wimbledon organisers had initially hoped that the project, which would enable the qualifying competition to be held on site rather than at nearby Roehampton, could be completed by 2030, but the lengthy administrative process means that will now be pushed back.

The club’s statement concluded: “We look forward to confirmation of a date for a public hearing on our applications in the coming months.”

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