Go-ahead for Lord's cricket ground redevelopment

Plans have been approved for the redevelopment of the south-west corner of Lord's cricket ground in north London, which would see the replacement of two stands and the addition of new facilities.

An artist's impression of the new stand proposed for Lord's cricket ground
An artist's impression of the new stand proposed for Lord's cricket ground

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) plans to demolish the 1930s Allen Stand and the 1960s Tavern Stand and Thomas Lord Building, an office building and a scorers box.

The stands would be replaced by a new 5,200-seat single stand - a 26 per cent increase in capacity on the current stands, a new pub, and a new scorers box.

Its proposals also include a new Thomas Lord building, including a reception, offices and a banqueting suite, a new Harris Garden building, and expanded underground access to the complex for delivery vehicles.

MCC said the new access arrangements meant that delivery vehicles would no longer need to use the ground’s Grade II listed Grace Gates, which would also benefit from public-realm improvements.

Opponents of the proposals expressed concerns about the height of the proposed new stand and its impact on Lord’s Grade II* listed Pavilion, and nearby homes. Complaints were also registered about the loss of amenity from the tavern’s relocation.

A report to Westminster City Council planning committee members ahead of last night's meeting said the Greater London Authority backed the proposals, while government heritage adviser Historic England was generally supportive.

Recommending the application for approval, planning officers said "considerable importance and weight" had been given to the desirability of preserving the setting of listed features of the ground, and the St John’s Wood conservation area.

They said there was justification for the demolition proposals, and that "less than substantial harm" would be caused to the setting of the pavilion by a proposed new scoreboard and retractable seating.

"Officers consider that the public benefits associated with this proposal together with the benefits to the setting of the listed Grace Gates outweigh this less than substantial harm," they said.

After the committee’s approval, the MCC said the earliest that work could begin on the project would be autumn 2019 because Lord’s needed to be free of building works for the ICC Cricket World Cup that summer.

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