Inside the battle over future of Wimbledon tennis championships as expansion splits locals
"Why have proposals to expand the world-famous championships come up against significant opposition? Noah Vickers reports"
"It’s a project to transform one of the UK’s top sporting events - but one which has divided local residents.
Plans put forward in Wimbledon would see the area’s world-famous tennis championships expand by building 39 new courts - including an 8,000 seater stadium - on a golf course across the road from the existing grounds.
But local residents have raised concerns over the impact on the land’s biodiversity and heritage - with a petition against the plans standing at more than 16,500 signatures since June last year.
Among those opposed is local London Assembly member Leonie Cooper.
She said: “I think it will be detrimental for Wimbledon Park and for local people in terms of its impact on nature and the facilities that are available locally, that give people health and wellbeing opportunities.”
Simon Wright, a member of the Southfields Grid Residents Association, said: “I’m a tennis fan and I’ve lived in the area for 28 years. I think Wimbledon Tennis is great.
“But I really object to what they’re trying to do to Wimbledon Park and so do a lot of other people. They’ve lost a lot of trust from the local community over the way this application has been handled.”
The golf course which AELTC wants to build on was historically part of Wimbledon Park, which was landscaped in the 18th century by Capability Brown."...read more Inside the battle over future of Wimbledon tennis championships as expansion splits locals