Many people have been in touch with Wimbledon Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, Cllr Paul Kohler about the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s controversial plans to build a new 10 storey 8,000 seater stadium, 38 more competition tennis courts and 10 additional buildings on part of Wimbledon Park.
If allowed to go ahead, AELTC’s plans would permanently concrete over a substantial amount of Metropolitan Open Land, cause up to eight years of disruption, and result in the loss of hundreds of mature trees.
When the Council sold the freehold of the Wimbledon Golf Club site to AELTC in 1993 they gave public assurances that they would never build on the land, backed up with a legally-enforceable covenant in the sale agreement.
Sadly, both Wimbledon’s Conservative MP and the local Labour Council have been quiet on the issue – when they should be standing up for local residents.
Last Wednesday Cllr Paul Kohler asked Council bosses to reassure residents that they would use their legal right to block the development, whether the recent planning application is successful or not.
Disappointingly, the Labour councillor in charge failed to give either a clear or direct answer to Cllr Kohler's question, simply confirming the covenant exists.
Cllr Kohler has now written to the leader of the Council, asking him to give a firm and unqualified confirmation that his administration will stand up for local residents and enforce the covenant.
To support that we have also launched a petition, which you can sign here:
Whilst Paul and the local Lib Dems support the land being used temporarily each year to bring the qualifying rounds home to Wimbledon, that must not be done outside the terms of the covenant.
By pressing ahead with these plans in spite of the significant opposition of local residents, and in flagrant disregard of its historic promises not to build on the land, the All England Club is showing complete contempt for the people of Wimbledon.