MCC President Mike Gatting today outlined, at the Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), some key decisions taken by the MCC Committee in relation to the redevelopment of Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The MCC Committee, at the request of the Rifkind Levy Partnership (RLP), received a presentation last month from David Morley Architects, working on their behalf, in relation to development on the Club’s leasehold land at the Nursery End of Lord’s.
The most recent presentation incorporated a scheme involving residential buildings in the corners of the land – adjacent to the North Gate and near the MCC Cricket Academy.
The Club’s President told the 347 Members at the AGM that the Committee will continue to concentrate on redeveloping Members’ facilities and stands at the Pavilion End of Lord’s.
Mike Gatting said: "The Club is putting all its resources, at present, into plans to redevelop the Pavilion end of the Ground, including the south-western corner – which comprises the Tavern and Allen Stands, the Thomas Lord Suite, the Middlesex Office and the Pavilion extensions.
"Until the Club has completed the redevelopment of the Warner Stand and the south-western corner, there is no need to consider any further presentations from RLP. The Club must not be distracted from its plans.
"When the Committee begins to give detailed consideration to new facilities at the Nursery End of the Ground, that will be the time to resume discussions with RLP."
In other matters on the agenda at the AGM, Members of MCC have voted in favour of a resolution requiring seat row depths in the redeveloped Warner Stand to be no less than 900mm – an increase of two inches over the current plan.
The passing of today’s Resolution will not affect the overall timetable for redevelopment and the design will only require adjustments, not the submission of a fresh planning application to Westminster City Council, who granted permission in March this year.
Subject to the approval of MCC Members next summer, the two-phase construction of the Warner Stand is due to begin at the end of the 2015 season, to ensure there is a fully operational stand in place for next season’s England v Australia Test.
The first tranche of construction will ensure two tiers of seating will be completed for the Pakistan Test Match in 2016. The second phase – comprising the roof, catering facilities and services – will begin in the winter of 2016-17 and be completed in time for the first major match of the 2017 season.
The innovative design for the new stand – which has been developed by Populous, architects of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium – includes a semi-translucent fabric roof, supported by a timber structure, which is the first of its kind in the country.
The Club continues to press ahead with its overall Masterplan for development, with the architects’ competition for the new Tavern and Allen Stands approaching its conclusion.
Gatting added: "Whilst the Committee believes that the 850mm leg room proposed in the initial stand design was sufficient, we of course respect the decision of Members. We will now push forward with the amendments to the stand’s design but it does not change the redevelopment process and we remain on track with the Masterplan for Lord’s.
"We will press on with development plans for the whole south-western corner of Lord’s, to include the new Tavern and Allen Stands, which are scheduled to be redeveloped after the Warner Stand. We will also continue to consult with Members on this project to maintain the status of Lord’s as the best cricket ground in the world."