Putney MP Calls on Constituents to Sign Wimbledon Park Petition

Fleur Anderson opposing England Lawn Tennis Club's plans

Fleur Anderson (right) with Simon Wright one of the campaigners against the proposal
Fleur Anderson (right) with Simon Wright one of the campaigners against the proposal


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Putney’s MP Fleur Anderson is calling on her constituents to sign a petition opposing development on Wimbledon Park.

She is backing the campaign to block the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s plans for a major tennis facility on the green space, which was part designed by Capability Brown and is Metropolitan Open Land, on the border of her constituency.

The proposal is to build an 8000-seater stadium and 37 qualifying courts in the park and a decision is due to be made by Merton and Wandsworth Council planning committees early next year having been postponed from this month.

If approved, building works could take over a decade to be completed.

Fleur Anderson has called on local residents to write to their councillors as well as signing the petition which, at the time of writing, had over 6200 signatures.

In September, she released a statement with Stephen Hammond, the Conservative MP for Wimbledon, jointly objecting to the proposals.

Ms Anderson said, “I have been working with local residents to oppose these inappropriate plans for our precious local green space. Now more than ever, we all appreciate what our green space gives us and I want to see the maximum amount of space possible protected for public use. We only have these green spaces because people fought off developers, and this is our generation’s fight to save this green space from an industrial scale development.

“The proposed Show Court is just too big for this residential area and the plans will necessitate cutting down many mature trees. The qualifier courts will be ringed with 9km of tarmac paths and utility structures rather than green open space. The public park part of the proposals sounds good and more open to the public that the golf course.

“However, this hides the fact that the public part of the development will still be owned by The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), will be closed for several weeks in May and June every year and can be built on in the future. Earlier plans had hotels in the proposals which show that our fears are based on what AELTC could do.

“These proposals do not protect Wimbledon Park from future development. I want the land put into a trust, which would protect it from ever being built on. In 1993, Merton Council gave permission to the golf course to develop on the park with the provision that this remain a green open space. I am urging local people to write to their Merton or Wandsworth Councillors and ask them to save our green spaces and reject these plans."

Residents who oppose the current AELTC plans argue that the 8000 seater development and additional 37 qualifier courts, that would be just used for a couple of weeks in the year, are an industrial development on the space, contravening the conditions put in place in 1993 by Merton Council.

Local resident Simon Wright said, “Wimbledon Park is so important to us as local people. The development proposed by AELTC is just completely inappropriate for such a residential area and doesn’t respect the local environment.

“This is not nimbyism. We all love the tennis. But we don’t feel as residents we have been consulted or listened to by the AELTC. We must protect this precious public space. Please sign the petition.”
Ms Anderson added, “I have spoken with hundreds of local residents and Resident’s Associations, done several ‘walkabouts’ on the Park and consulted experts on biodiversity and green space. I truly believe AELTC needs to reconsider.

“I have written to all members of Wandsworth and Merton Councils asking them to visit the space and see for themselves the damage the proposals would do. Please do sign the petition and protect our precious green spaces.”

An AELTC spokesperson said, “The Wimbledon Park Project proposals were designed with two core objectives in mind: to maintain The Championships at the pinnacle of tennis and to provide substantial public benefit to our local community.

“Therefore, central to our proposals is the creation of a new 9.4-hectare park that will open to the public on previously private land, as well as a new boardwalk around Wimbledon Park lake. We believe these benefits, alongside others such as an increase in biodiversity of the site and the planting of 1,500 trees, will provide a lasting legacy for our community to enjoy for years to come.”

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November 18, 2022

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