We have sent the All England Lawn Tennis Club our comments on Stage 2 of the consultation process on their plans for developing the Wimbledon Park golf course land that they have acquired. Stage 3 of the consultation will follow in June and the actual planning application some weeks after that.
From the information released to date, we commend the AELTC for their intention to restore the parkland to the original landscape designed by Capability Brown, but we have a number of concerns about their proposals.
The golf course land, unlike the AELTC’s existing grounds, is designated as Metropolitan Open Land. This is equivalent to Green Belt and should be preserved from development. So we are unhappy that the AELTC is proposing to build a permanent 8,000-seat court on it. This would be twice the size of the present No. 2 Court.
The remaining parts of the Capability Brown landscape are the golf course, the Wimbledon’s Club’s land and the public park owned by Merton Council. We had hoped that the AELTC would take the lead in co-ordinating restoration works by all three owners.
The AELTC has promised benefits to the local community, such as opening up of the golf course for pedestrian use outside the Championships. We welcome this and look forward to firmer proposals from them.