The All England Tennis Club, which hosts Wimbledon, expressed disappointment when the London Borough of Wandsworth declined planning approval for a huge expansion on Tuesday. The London Borough of Merton approved the proposals. It included 39 additional grass courts and an 8,000-seater show court on the adjacent Wimbledon Park, but Wandsworth’s planning committee rejected them. The Mayor of London’s office will now examine the decision.
“Naturally, we are disappointed by the London Borough of Wandsworth’s decision,” Sally Bolton, chief executive of the All England Club, said in a statement. “Our proposals will deliver one of the greatest sporting transformations for London since 2012, alongside substantial benefits for the local community.”
Although just a minor portion of the AELTC’s plans fall under Wandsworth’s jurisdiction. Both councils required to provide their approval for the ambitious plans to continue forward. A post from the London Borough of Wandsworth on X, formerly Twitter, confirmed the decision: “Wandsworth’s planning committee votes to refuse Wimbledon tennis expansion plans.” Also read: Davis Cup Winners List And Winning Prize Money
Local residents and environmental organizations had also expressed concern. With 14,000 people signing a petition to reject the proposals, which included the destruction of 300 trees. However the AELTC highlighted that more than 1,000 trees would be planted.
On Tuesday, a large gathering of demonstrators gathered outside Wandsworth Town Hall while councillors deliberated. Also read: Finland Defeated Canada To Reach The Davis Cup Semifinals
The All England Club’s facilities have been upgraded over the last two decades. Members accepted the AELTC’s proposal of 65 million pounds for Wimbledon Park Golf Club in 2018. The tennis club argues that its expansion plans would actually return private land back to the public.
“We firmly believe the AELTC Wimbledon Park Project offers significant social, economic and environmental improvements. It includes turning 23 acres of previously private land into a new public park. Alongside hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of pounds in economic benefits for our neighbours in Wandsworth, Merton and across London,” Bolton said. Also read: Rinky Hijikata Net Worth 2023, Annual Income, Prize Money, Endorsements, Cars, Houses, Charities
Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond expressed his delight that the plans had been rejected by Wandsworth. Also read: Wimbledon’s Grand Vision: A New Stadium and 38 Courts