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The Guardian 25 April 2024: Guaranteed Centre Court seats for Wimbledon? That’ll be £116,000 … each

The Guardian: Guaranteed Centre Court seats for Wimbledon? That’ll be £116,000 … each

Rupert Neate (The Guardian) describes how AELTC's plans to expand the tennis grounds on to protected green space, as well as highlighting how only members of the golf club area, purchased in 2018 by AELTC, have profited by the move so far:

"...The latest sale of debenture seats will raise £292m for the club, which it hopes to spend on a massive expansion of the Championship grounds on to the neighbouring Grade II*-listed park and former golf course.

The All England club, which has been running the championships since 1877, spent £65m of funds mostly raised from previous debenture sales buying up Wimbledon Park golf course in 2018 to expand its site across Church Road. The purchase led to the golf club’s members – including Piers Morgan, the former cabinet secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell, Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly – each collecting an £85,000 windfall.

However, no building work has started as there is a bitter planning row between the club and local residents who object to plans to build a new 8,000-seat, 10-storey show court and 38 other grass courts on the former golf club land in Wimbledon Park, which was landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century, and is specially protected as “metropolitan open land”.

The mayor of London’s office has taken charge of the decision on whether to approve the plans, which had been approved by Merton council but rejected by neighbouring Wandsworth council."


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