Wimbledon Park Residents Association

AELTC Planning Application/Save Wimbledon Park. Useful summary of the current state of play from the Wimbledon Union of Residents’ Association (WURA).

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Save Wimbledon Park

AELTC application 21/P2900 (Merton), 2021/3609 (Wandsworth)

The fight goes on.  It is over two years since the planning application was submitted and it has yet to be discussed by the planning committee.

The Supreme Court decision in Day v Shropshire, plus research and discussion with Merton on Merton’s position, is a game-changer:

  1. Merton acquired the whole Wimbledon Park Estate in 1965 specifically to hold on trust for the public of Wimbledon.
  2. When Merton sold the freehold of the golf course in 1993 to AELTC they failed to take the steps necessary to release it from the trust.  Day v Shropshire confirms, from the highest court in the land, that the trust therefore continues.
  3. AELTC now hold the freehold of the whole of the golf course on trust for the public of Wimbledon and are not free to do with it what they like, even if Merton were to give them planning permission. 
  4. AELTC say the land was a “private golf course, inaccessible to the public for over 100 years”.  This is not true.  When Merton leased the golf course in 1986, they reserved extensive rights for residents of Merton to play, just like any other pay and play sports facility in a park, and consistent with the 1965 public trust.

There are other objections:

The Restrictive Covenants.  When Merton sold the freehold to the AELTC in 1993, they required, and the AELTC agreed, restrictions to prevent development and limit the use to recreation, leisure and open space.  The AELTC proposal now breaks them, which they have admitted.

Planning policies.  The golf course is protected as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), the same as Green Belt, which prevents development.  It is part of a Grade II* listed Heritage Park on the at risk register due to divided incoherent ownership.  This project is to heavily develop only 40% of it.  It is in a conservation area, a Site of Scientific Importance for Nature.  The AELTC proposal does not overcome policy objections.

Environmental concerns are also very important.  Our local expert who has studied the park for over 25 years and who knows the Park and Lake better than anyone advises that the AELTC are doing quite the wrong thing, which will cause harm, not benefit.

How does 4000 tons of concrete, 9 kilometres of roadways, the construction of 39 levelled tennis courts with concrete surrounds together with an 8,000seater covered stadium “reflect Capability Brown’s spirit and aim” and create “a more naturalistic character”?

Follow this link to see the reality of what the AELTC proposes for the land.


For more information The Wimbledon Society web site is keeping a detailed log of relevant published articles