May 20 2013 Latest news:
Ben Bloom , Reporter
Friday, May 11, 2012
The ongoing saga of redevelopment at Lord’s Cricket Ground has taken yet another twist as Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced it is to develop a new masterplan for the site.
Last month the Wood&Vale reported that MCC, which owns the ground, had asked its members to vote on a resolution preventing developers moving in on a 1.6 acre plot of land at the Nursery End of the ground.
But the resolution was dramatically scrapped after pressure at the MCC annual general meeting (AGM) last week, with the club announcing that its ground working party will instead formulate a brand new masterplan.
The decision to back-track on the resolution marks the latest embarrassment for the MCC in a long-running dispute over the redevelopment.
Former Prime Minister John Major resigned from the club’s committee last year after his colleagues rejected plans for a £400million redevelopment.
The radical “Vision for Lord’s” scheme had included the potential rebuilding of five stands, new luxury apartments at both ends of the ground, and a real tennis court partially sunk behind the pavilion.
Speaking after last week’s AGM, MCC president Phillip Hodson said: “MCC needs to look to the future.
“I want Derek Brewer, our new chief executive, and Colin Maber, who worked so well together developing Trent Bridge [cricket ground], to produce a development plan dove-tailing with the club’s strategic plan.
“I have total confidence in the ground working party because it has already done a substantial amount of valuable work.”
It is thought the MCC has already spent in excess of £3million on the project over the past five years.
While MCC owns the freehold on the majority of the Lord’s site, the club only owns the leasehold for the top 18 inches of ground at the Nursery End.
Developers Rifkind Levy Partnership hold a 990-year lease for the ground beneath, which contains two disused tunnels accessible from Wellington Hospital next door.
Mr Brewer was announced as new MCC chief executive, while former Sussex captain Mike Griffith will take over as the president in October.