MCC Members have voted to proceed with the Club's Updated Masterplan for the redevelopment of Lord's Cricket Ground.
The emphatic result - by a 90.5% majority, 7,163 votes in favour and 748 votes against - was confirmed by the Electoral Reform Society at the conclusion of an MCC Special General Meeting, held this evening at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster.
As a result, MCC will now adopt its MCC Updated Masterplan, a £194m programme of works that will be completed in 2032. The entire development will be funded from the Club's own resources and the decision closes the door on the long-running debate of possible residential development at Lord's.
Detailed design work will begin immediately on a replacement for the Compton and Edrich Stands, with the project set to become the largest single development ever seen at the 203-year-old ground.
It is intended that, at the May 2019 AGM, Members will be asked to approve the building of the new stands which, subject to planning permission being granted by Westminster City Council by the end of 2018, will be carried out from 2019-2021. The new structures, which will sit underneath and to either side of the J.P. Morgan Media Centre, will be designed to deliver an exceptional facilities for spectators and will increase the capacity of Lord's by at least 2,000.
The first part of the MCC Masterplan was completed earlier this year with the opening of the new £25m Warner Stand.
The MCC Committee made its recommendation on the redevelopment possibilities at Lord's in late July, following a lengthy review and consultation process, during which time Members made clear their opposition to any residential development on the Club’s land. An alternative development option - Rifkind Associates' Morley Plan - which incorporated two large blocks of flats within the curtilage of Lord's, was rejected by the Committee as an unviable option; as a result of the vote, the Club's Members have now ended the residential debate at the Home of Cricket.
MCC President Matthew Fleming, who presided over the Special General Meeting at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster, said:
"I would like to thank the Club's Members for their contribution to the redevelopment debate at Lord's. It is a complicated issue that has dominated much of the Club's focus in recent times.
This is a landmark day for MCC and for the future of Lord's
"After listening to independent experts, analysis from the Club's Principal committees and feedback from Members during the consultation, it became clear to the Committee that the MCC Updated Masterplan offers the only solution which retains the unique character of both the main ground and the Nursery Ground at Lord's whilst ensuring its development will be of world-class standard for our visitors to enjoy.
"MCC Members have voted overwhelmingly to back the Committee and the Club can now focus on delivering this exciting programme of works."
Club Chairman, Gerald Corbett, said:
"This is a landmark day for MCC and for the future of Lord's. MCC Members have made their feelings abundantly clear - they do not want blocks of flats to be built at their ground - and they have backed the Committee's recommendation to pursue the Updated Masterplan.
"Tonight's result is emphatic and comes after much detailed work has been completed by the executive, the Club's committees and numerous independent advisors. The alternative to the Masterplan would have been a bad deal for the Club commercially and a bad deal for the architectural atmosphere and ambience of Lord's.
"Derek Brewer deserves much credit and has done an excellent job as our Chief Executive & Secretary over the last five years. He retires at the end of this month and has ensured that he hands over the reins to Guy Lavender with a clear direction on the future development of Lord's. This is an unequivocal outcome that closes the door on the residential debate.
"The Club will now move on and implement the MCC Updated Masterplan."