Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) will push ahead with the further development of Lord’s Cricket Ground but has rejected plans for the building of residential flats at the Nursery End of the ground.
The MCC committee has issued a recommendation to proceed with development at Lord’s by adopting the MCC Updated Masterplan, funded from the club’s own resources.
The decision means the MCC will be adopting Populous’ plans for the development rather than those submitted by David Morley Architects.
The committee has recommended that the next ground development project at the Home of Cricket will be the replacement of the Compton and Edrich Stands, with work set to begin in late 2019.
MCC’s 18,000 Members will be asked to approve this and each component part of the Updated Masterplan, as it evolves, and once planning permission has been granted by Westminster City Council.
After the completion of the first stage of the MCC Masterplan earlier this year, which resulted in the opening of a new £25 million Warner Stand, the replacement of the Compton and Edrich Stands – projected to be completed in June 2021 – would lead to an increase in the ground’s capacity, improved facilities and better circulation for spectators.
The committee’s decision follows a two-year process which involved one of the biggest pieces of analysis ever conducted by the club and a significant consultation exercise which resulted in members voicing an overwhelming opinion that residential development should not be considered at Lord’s.
The timeline of the Updated MCC Masterplan is:
- 2019-21: new Compton and Edrich stands with up to 2,000 extra seats built. The new stands would not go above the P. Morgan Media Centre, which is a building of merit and likely to be listed, but will leave space around it.
- 2021-22: new East Gate Building (first phase).
- 2023-25: East Gate Building (second phase), including goods entrance, car park, shop, hospitality facilities and ECB offices.
- 2025-26: demolition of the Nursery Pavilion and extension of the Nursery Ground playing area up to the Wellington Road. The Nursery Ground would be slightly larger than at present.
- 2027-30: construction of the South-Western Project, principally including the redevelopment of the Tavern and Allen Stands and Lord’s Tavern.
- 2031-32: new facilities for groundsmen and ticket office staff would be built at the North Gate.
MCC Chairman, Gerald Corbett, has written to the Club’s membership to outline the next stage of the process. He said:
Today’s decision by the MCC Committee provides clarity on the extremely important and often controversial subject of Ground development. Put simply, the club can afford to develop the ground using its own resources and it will do so in the coming years without the need for enabling residential development.
The Morley scheme, with flats at its heart, was considered by the Committee to detract from the ambience and special feel of Lord’s, as well containing a number of operational, security, execution and planning risks. Moreover the Club’s advisers were unable to recommend the proposed commercial terms.
The Updated MCC Masterplan sets out to provide better facilities for spectators and improved circulation for them around the ground.
There will be more back-of-house facilities underground, a slightly larger Nursery Ground, which will not be impaired by overbearing development, and the unique atmosphere and the “look and feel” of Lord’s will be maintained and enhanced.
As part of MCC’s obligations to the England and Wales Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council, no redevelopment of any stands will take place at Lord’s until the completion of the 2019 cricket season, which includes an Ashes Series and the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Image courtesy of MCC