By Simon Briggs, Tennis Correspondent
19 April 2023
"The All England Club’s proposed expansion into neighbouring Wimbledon Park Golf Club remains stuck in development hell, with Merton Council now expected to withhold planning consent until late summer.
The AELTC had originally hoped to receive planning permission by the time that the golf course closed at the end of 2021. That date is now almost 18 months in the past, and there is little prospect of an end to the process.
Both Merton and Wandsworth councils will have to approve the AELTC’s plans, as the 73-acre site crosses borough boundaries. A possible date for the key Merton Council meeting had been pencilled in for next week, but that has now been postponed again, as the towering stack of paperwork continues to grow.
While a decision in May could still be a possibility, it sounds increasingly unlikely. From early June to early July, the AELTC will want to be concentrating on staging Wimbledon. And then, even once the councils have finally ruled, the controversial nature of the project will probably require a referral to London mayor Sadiq Khan or secretary of state Michael Gove."