Save Wimbledon Park - A Call to Action
Hold Merton and AELTC to their promises
Save Wimbledon Park
for future generations
The All England Lawn Tennis Club are still pursuing their application for planning permission to develop the Heritage Landscape of the Grade II* registered Wimbledon Park. Although the application received approval by Merton's planning committee on 26th October 2023, this was just the first stage in the process. Wandsworth Council's planning committee met on 21st November and voted unanimously to refuse the application. It now goes to the GLA for a Mayoral decision; the Secretary of State can also call it in.
Each decision making body has to review the All England's proposals. On Capability Brown’s Grade II* historic and highly protected Metropolitan Open Land they plan an 8,000-seat stadium, 38 courts, 10 other buildings and 9kms of roads and paths (see a map illustrating the plans). They propose a new AELTC private park to which the public may be admitted but which would contain a 30,000sqft maintenance building.
All this would break the 1993 covenants demanded by Merton to protect the golf course and agreed by AELTC on their purchase. On 14 July 1993 Merton promised that the golf course would be kept as open space: statement by Tony Colman, leader of Merton Council: “...when we decided to sell this land, we did so ensuring it would be kept as open space and we did so determined that the next owner and any future owner would be denied forever the opportunity to use this space for any development."
See this briefing paper for more information.
Please sign our petition:
Although the application received approval by Merton's planning committee on 26th October 2023, this was just the first stage in the process. Wandsworth Council's planning committee met on 21st November and voted unanimously to refuse the application. It now goes to the GLA for a Mayoral decision; the Secretary of State can also call it in.
These are the key concerns:
• Unacceptable Environmental Impact. The golf course will be excavated, infilled, and levelled over 7 years, threatening protected priority habitats. Claims for biodiversity net gains have been challenged in expert analysis. • 300 mature trees will be felled. An estimated 500+ younger trees will be uprooted • This is important open space heavily protected in planning policy. Once built upon it could become completely developed. • The 28m high and 104m wide Stadium will dominate the site, contrary to the 1993 covenant. • The new AELTC park will belong to the AELTC. Public access to it and the walk around the lake is “permissive”; it may be withdrawn as their commercial priorities change. The AELTC say their Masterplan for the future of their estate is “an evolving vision”. • A walking route around the lake is welcome and would fulfil a 1993 obligation. The boardwalk over the lake is unacceptable on visual, ecological, and historical grounds. • With tournament use limited to 3 weeks, the density of courts and infrastructure across the site is excessive. Community access to play tennis will be negligible. Championship parking and the Queue will still be on public park land. • The plans assume Church Road will be closed during the Championships, even to pedestrians and cyclists.
This Campaign is Supported By:
and ALL the local and surrounding residents' associations (RAs):
Belvedere Estate (BERA)
Osborne House RA
Southfields Gardens RA
Victoria Drive Conservation Area RA
Wimbledon House RA
Wimbledon Union of RAs (WURA)
The Campaign would also like to acknowledge the ongoing
expert legal support and advice of Russell Cooke, solicitors