Introduction

This website looks at the controversy surrounding the developments of Lords Cricket Ground, as part of a third year Mapping Controversies project at Manchester School of Architecture.

Context

  Location within UK                                    Location within London                                       Location within the Borough of Westminster

 

The Controversy

In 1999 Rifkind Levy Partnership (RLP) outbid the MCC for the long lease of Lords Cricket Ground, owned by RailTrack. Prior to this, the MCC had held the lease for 130 years. In 2006 the Lord’s redevelopment “Vision for Lord’s” Committee was established. Herzog & de Meuron were chosen to draw up a master plan for the redevelopments. Almacantar (the MCC appointed developers) aim to develop land located at the Nursery End of Lord’s. They also propose to fund and increase the capacity of the ground by 10,000. The development proposes to build 275,000 sq ft of residential property within 5 tower blocks. Almacantar offered the MCC £100 million as part of the deal in order to both increase the seating capacity of the ground, and to deliver improved facilities. Almacantar also offered £10 million for future youth development, which will be used to create an indoor school for the cricket academy.

The controversy surrounding the developments focuses on the financial position of the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) and the country.

Supporters of the project argue that the £400million redevelopment will generate investment and will improve facilities and therefore cricket as a whole. Increasing the capacity to 40,000 will increase visitors to the two test matches a year, thereby increasing revenue. The development will also make greater use of the ground throughout the year.

The main opposition comes from individuals within the MCC committee who dispute the finances and the scale of the project. Key committee members believe the vision to be financially risky and unrealistic in turbulent economic circumstances.

Disagreements began within the MCC and as a result, the developments are still being disputed.

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