Greater London Assembly (GLA) Review of AELTC development proposals

15 December 2023

NOTE FROM CHARLES RUNCIE, SGRA CHAIR: Simon Wright (Grid resident) has passed on his summary of the possible next steps of the GLA’s consideration of AELTC’s development proposals which is below.

Since Wandsworth Borough Council rejected the plans submitted by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) last month we have been working hard to understand what happens next, and what we can all do to influence the outcome.

Merton and Wandsworth Councils now have to write to the GLA so that the GLA can then review AELTC’s plans.

Wandsworth tell us they will be doing this in December or January – it takes a while as they have to include all papers and submissions.

Once the notifications have been submitted, the GLA has 14 days to decide what to do next. 

We believe that it has two options:

  1. reject the application 
  2. declare itself the planning authority and consider the application 

Please now lobby the GLA to take option 1. The Mayor has recused himself so his Deputy Jules Pipe will take the decision. 

There are two ways you can contact the GLA:


  • GLA Planning Website – Go to and enter the code 21/P2900  to locate the AELTC application. You can then enter your comments directly onto the website.

Either way please make your views known as soon as you can. You may only comment on planning matters, so any discussion of the Covenant will not be relevant.  If you need some inspiration, below is a note containing some of the issues you might want to raise.

Possible Reasons to ask the GLA to refuse the AELTC application


SUBMISSION If you cut-and-paste your views will be discounted. I suggest you select a maximum of three issues and use your own words.

  • The land under consideration is 73 acres of Grade II* Heritage parkland. The loss of more than two-thirds of this open space would represent a major detriment to the environment and ecology of the area.
  • The London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provide the strongest possible protection for Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), equivalent to that of Green Belt. The development of an 8,000 seat stadium, 38 courts, 10 other buildings, 9km of roads and paths would remove the Open Land Status of the area and once lost it would never be recovered. The proposal is inappropriate and harmful.
  • The claim that there are ‘Very Special Circumstances’ (VSC) warranting such over-development have not been substantiated. The officers report from Wandsworth states clearly that VSC do not exist. The GLA’s own Planning Report stage 1 referral GLA/2021/0914/S1/01 (November 1st 2021) states “Whilst the redevelopment of the site to provide tennis infrastructure and a new publicly accessible park is supported in strategic planning terms, the proposal constitutes inappropriate development on MOL which must be robustly justified by very special circumstances. At this stage a VSC justification which clearly outweighs the potential harms to the MOL has not yet been demonstrated.”
  • The development would set a dangerous precedent for development of other Metropolitan Open Land in London which is under threat.
  • No replacement provision of Open Space has been offered.
  • No alternative proposals for provision of the facilities that the applicant has identified as necessary have been considered or identified.
  • Some desilting of the lake for the purpose of restoring Capability Brown’s original design may have merit, but insufficient consideration has been given to this important topic and insufficient investigation has been done. The desilting method proposed could kill the lake’s ecosystem and generate toxic waste.
  • Given the existing legal obligation on AELTC for a walkway around the lake, the offer to build a shorter walkway, largely over the lake and disturbing wildlife, is a poor offer.
  • AELTC failed to document many of the existing trees, so the numbers to be lost is not the claimed 300 but more like 800.  It will take at least 50 years to replace the tree canopy – too late for Net Zero.
  • The GLA requires a holistic approach to Air Quality monitoring, achieving Air Quality Neutral during the construction phase of large-scale developments.  Air pollution on the main routes identified for construction traffic at Wimbledon Park Road and at Southfields crossroads is already at levels substantially above the WHO guidelines (09/2021).  Emissions from up to 50 construction vehicles per day, and their stop-start progress on crowded residential roads, would be highly detrimental to the health of our community and to the children of 33 schools and nurseries close to the main routes.

Any questions, please get in touch.

Simon Wright – email 

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