Wimbledon takes step towards biggest ever expansion as All England Club launches planning application for £100m project spanning 39 new grass courts boosting capacity to 650,000
- Wimbledon has launched the planning application for its £100m expansion
- The All England Club is seeking permission to build 39 new grass courts
- The plans include an 8,000-seat ‘Parkland’ stadium with a retractable roof
- The total capacity will be boosted from current levels of 500,000 to 650,000
Wimbledon has formally launched the planning application for its biggest ever expansion – with an estimated spend of more than £100 million.
Having acquired neighbouring Wimbledon Park golf course in late 2018, the All England Club is seeking permission to build 39 new grass courts. This includes an 8,000-seat ‘Parkland’ stadium with a retractable roof that would become the enlarged site’s third biggest arena.
According to documents lodged with Merton Council, the eventual total capacity of The Championships will be boosted to around 650,000 spectators, up from the current level of nearly 500,000 in a normal year.
Wimbledon has formally launched the planning application for its biggest ever expansion
The All England Club is seeking permission to build 39 new grass courts, including an 8,000-seat ‘Parkland’ stadium with a retractable roof
An extensive consultation has already taken place, and the weighty process of seeking permissions has begun this week.
The documents state that the cost of the work will be ‘more than £100 million’, and the planning application fee alone is costing over £73,000.
The schedule of works suggest that most of the courts will be built by 2026-27 with a view to bringing the qualifying event on site in 2028 from its current location at Roehampton, two miles away.
Of the four Grand Slams, Wimbledon is the only one not to host its own preliminary rounds, as seen at Flushing Meadows in New York this week.
The whole project is not expected to be completed until 2030, with the new stadium the last thing that would come on stream.
Among the facilities on the new land will be two ‘player hubs’, and some of the space will be dug underground.
Most of the courts will be built by 2026-27 with a view to bringing the qualifiers on site in 2028
With planning now lodged, the extent of local objections remains to be seen. Resident groups and some councillors have already expressed fears about such matters as road closures and potential long term disruption caused by building works.
The application does stress community benefits that will come from the development, such as the sweeping 23 acre public park that will be newly created and the year-round use of the new stadium for local organisations.
A covering letter concludes that the proposals are ‘intended to safeguard the future of The Championships at SW19 and ensure that Wimbledon remains as the pre-eminent tennis tournament in the World and one of the most recognisable global sporting events.’
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