Residents have submitted more than a hundred objections to plans to redevelop Wimbledon Park golf course into new tennis courts.
The proposal was submitted by All England Lawn Tennis Ground, which owns the courts used for the world famous Wimbledon tennis championships.
A total of 185 objection comments have been posted to the Wandsworth Council website at the time of writing, and more have been submitted to Merton Council.
The prestigious Wimbledon Championships are the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
Currently, the main events are on Church Road, opposite Wimbledon Park, but the qualifying event takes place in Roehampton.
Plans for the 39.7 hectare site include the construction of 38 additional lawn tennis courts and an exhibition area in an 8,000-space park.
The new facilities would be used to move the qualifying rounds to Wimbledon, extending what residents say is an annual period of increased traffic and unrest.
Some also believe that the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) doesn’t really need additional courts.
Stuart Mathieson, 62, encouraged residents to voice their objections to the advice.
Mathieson said: “The residents feel this is totally inappropriate. Everywhere you looked there would be a tennis court, with a weird tree here and there. So really a desecration of the earth.
The proposal also includes a walk around and through the lake at Wimbledon Park and the opening of part of the park to the public.
However, the AELTC says its redevelopment plans will benefit the community.
Ian Hewitt, AELTC President, said in a statement: “We respect heritage. We take responsibility for society.
“This is a unique and exciting opportunity to improve Wimbledon’s position as the world’s premier tennis tournament, to maintain the beneficial social and economic impact for Merton, Wandsworth, London and the UK by general, and to provide important benefits to the local community throughout the year, all in a beautiful and historic landscape. “
In a written objection to Wandsworth council, Joseph Gurney said: “The volume of construction is too much on such a green space, 38 courts are pure greed – huge amounts of infrastructure and cement are poured for little. for good reason – where there was previously more grass and biodiversity.
“Another London green space that’s being sacrificed – but this one doesn’t even deliver any accommodation.”
There are currently only five comments supporting the claim on the Wandsworth Council website.
The AELTC claims that the environmental impact of the redevelopment will be limited.
“The project also offers an opportunity to significantly improve biodiversity, wildlife and other sustainability measures in the park,” AELTC said in a statement.
When consulted by Merton’s council to assess the plans, the Environment Agency said the request posed a low environmental risk.
Mathieson has also launched two petitions to councils and the AELTC to address residents’ concerns about the disruption to the championships in recent years.
The petitions relate to the use of parts of Wimbledon Park as parking lots and the closure of Church Road for the movement of events.
The AELTC said it aims to reduce car trips to and from the championships and is exploring the possibility of removing parking.
“We will take into account any comments we receive from members of the public as part of the statutory consultation process when our planning committee meets to consider its decision,” said a spokesperson for the Wandsworth Council.
Merton’s board has been approached for comment.