16 January 2024
Richard is a Tennis Masterplanner who has created a succession of successful International Tennis venues. He is a Tennis Masterplanner for parts of the AELTC Church Road site itself and the design leader on the Long Term Plan from 1992- 1997. Richard developed the concept of ‘Tennis in an English Garden’ with the design team. This existing Masterplan has proved, in the hands of successive and disparate architects, to be an incredibly robust and successful Tennis Masterplan concept that has stood the test of time right up to the present day.
His criticisms of the current AELTC proposals are informed by his considerable experience and technical knowledge.
"Background to the critique
The following notes are based on a review of the Planning Documents submitted to Merton Borough Council by the AELTC for their Wimbledon Park proposals.
I am coming from a viewpoint of an experienced Tennis Architect and Masterplanner.
The AELTC has promoted the Wimbledon Park Masterplan as the only plan that works for its ambition to continue to be the Premier Grand Slam venue in the future. This statement should be questioned as all masterplans have numerous options and possible solutions to achieve similar objectives. This is an internationally significant masterplan proposal and as such should be comprehensive and rigorous in its assumptions. Although the design process has been rigorous, and a huge amount of work has been done I would question the quantum of the brief given to the design team which appears to be a maximum scenario for development in a perfect tennis environment without any significant constraints being accepted.
The national significance of this site is that the AELTC are proposing substantial development of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and a Grade II* Listed Park and if this is accepted then it has an implication for a large number of MOL and Listed sites in the UK and is potentially setting dangerous precedents for their protection. "...read more about Critique of the AELTC Wimbledon Park Proposals - Richard Rees RIBA