Objection of PRA for GLA Stage 2
Application to develop Wimbledon Park Golf Course (Merton 21/P2900, Wandsworth 2021/3609)
"The Parkside Residents Association (“PRA”) represents a membership area of some 350 households located to the south west of the AELTC’s application site. Our area, which includes roads which adjoin Church Road and also the AELTC’s estate to the west of Church Road, is directly impacted by the operational requirements of the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships and, year round, by the AELTC’s various ongoing building programmes to upgrade its facilities.
We have reviewed the proposals described in the above applications, which represent the largest project undertaken by the AELTC in decades. It will significantly expand the Club’s facilities by transforming the former Wimbledon Park Golf Course, a site which enjoys significant protective planning policy designations, most notably as Metropolitan Open Land (“MOL”), with a radical scheme for a major tennis complex. We participated in the applicant’s three preliminary briefings to present the proposals to Residents’ Associations, responding at each stage with our comments and concerns. We have also submitted a number of representations to the planning authorities at various stages in the lengthy planning process including a detailed analysis of the Community Benefits on offer. We advised that, in our view, the substantial scale and density of the proposals and their impact upon this protected site and upon the wider community are inappropriate, unacceptable and are contrary to the numerous planning policies which these protective designations afford and that the necessary case that there are Very Special Circumstances (“VSC”) to justify approval had not been made.
We have also provided a detailed Commentary to the GLA dated 9th March 2022 reviewing the GLA’s Stage 1 Referral Planning Report GLA/2021/0914/S1/01 dated 1 November 2021. We supported the conclusion in that Report:"