Last Updated on 7 August 2022
The Mail Online (4/8/22) published an article ‘Wimbledon at war as rival MPs team up to block plans to build 39 new courts – including one large stadium – on golf course… with D-day for All England Club’s £100m expansion next month’. It includes this comment from the AELTC ‘Central to these proposals is the opening up of previously private land to be enjoyed by thousands of local residents in Merton and Wandsworth.’
Having undertaken some fact checking this is incorrect:
“opening up” Merely 15 of the 73 acres of golf course land will be accessible by the public, at the behest of the All England who can withdraw permission at any time.
“previously private land” This suggests that it is now public. In fact it remains private land in the ownership of the All England. They bought the golf club company.
The golf course was always open to all comers from Merton – see briefing on golf course access here. 75% of members had to be resident in the Borough, any resident could play at 50% green fees without being a member, OAPs of Merton could play at 25% green fees without being a member. Just like any pay-and-play golf course.
“enjoyed by thousands” The All England still propose to use the truly public part of the existing park for the ‘Q’, car parking and facilities, so denying thousands the use of the public park for more than four weeks at the height of summer.