The proposal to transform Wimbledon Park Golf Club into an extension of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and open parkland will be heard by Merton Council on the 26th of October, 2023.
The proposal is a cross-boundary Merton and Wandsworth hybrid planning application (comprising part full permission and part outline planning permission) for the expansion of the All England Lawn Tennis Club grounds onto Wimbledon Park Golf Course with the introduction of new tennis courts, tennis-related infrastructure and new buildings.
Full planning permission for the provision of 38 grass tennis courts and associated infrastructure, comprising of the re-profiling of the landscape and the removal, retention and replanting of trees; provision of seven satellite maintenance buildings, a boardwalk around the perimeter of and across Wimbledon Park Lake, lake alterations (including lake edge, de-silting & de-culverting), highway works to church road and new pedestrian access points at the northern and southern ends of the site. It includes new vehicular access points and the creation of a new area of parkland with permissive public access.
Outline planning permission (with appearance, means of access, landscaping and scale reserved – layout only considered in detail) for the erection of new buildings and structures, including an 8,000-seat parkland show court incorporating a qualifying player hub, guest facilities and associated event operational facilities.
The proposals have received 894 objections, including the two local MPs (Covered here). Objections have called on the covenants relating to the use of the Golf Course, which, in substance, require the owner to use the golf course land only for leisure and recreation or as an open space and restricts the erection of buildings other than those ancillary to recreational or open space uses and which building or buildings will not impair the appreciation of the general public of the extent or openness of the land.
In addition, the transfer contains a positive covenant requiring the provision of a lakeside walkway open to the public once golfing use has ceased permanently, subject to relevant leases ceasing to subsist.
Two petitions were received concerning the planning application. These include:
- Save Wimbledon Park, a Change.org petition was submitted to the Council objecting to the proposed development carrying 12,976 signatures.
- A third-party petition concerning the planning application was received, objecting to the proposed development carrying 2046 signatures.
The Merton Officers have recommended approval, allowing for the detrimental impact on Metropolitan Open Land due to very special circumstances. The proposal is also subject to Greater London Authority referral.
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