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Brakes put on David Morley's Lord's Cricket Ground plans

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The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has halted discussions over plans by David Morley Architects to develop a key part of Lord’s Cricket Ground

The club said it had mothballed any plans for the Nursery End of its London home and was instead focusing on proposals to develop the ground’s south-western corner and the westerly Warner Stand

The news is the latest blow to development plans by Rifkind Levy Partnership (RLP), which shares the leasehold on the northern, Nursery End plot with the MCC.

RLP’s mixed-use Nursery End proposals, including a museum, shop, commercial space and an expanded broadcasting compound, were worked up by David Morley Architects and presented to the MCC’s main committee in April. Previous blueprints for the site had also been designed by AHMM and masterplanner Herzog & de Meuron.

The Club must not be distracted from its plans

However the MCC’s president Mike Gatting said at the club’s Annual General Meeting: ‘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.’

Populous’s design for the Warner Stand – featuring a semi-translucent fabric roof – is due to start construction in 2015.

A spokeswoman for David Morley Architects said: ‘We are delighted that our initial ideas for the redevelopment of Lord’s Nursery End are still under consideration by the Committee, albeit on a longer timescale than we had anticipated.’

Previous story (AJ 04.10.12)

Hospital vision mooted for Lord’s

Plans for a hospital and luxury apartments at Lord’s cricket ground have been proposed as part of a revised Herzog and de Meuron-designed masterplan for the west London club

Lord’s has been offered £100 million and a £10 million donation to a young cricketers’ charity to allow the scheme to go ahead on its leasehold owned land.

The proposal – which features an extension to neighbouring Wellington hospital – has emerged almost six months after landowner Marylebone Cricket Club shelved an ambitious residential-led scheme for the same strip of land by AHMM for developer Almacantar. The club is now contesting a claim by Almacantar that it owes the developer £400,000.

The abandoned AHMM proposal was itself superseded by a £400 million Herzog and de Meuron-masterplanned vision for the entire west London site which halted in 2010 when an advisory group to the MCC was disbanded.

The latest vision is backed by Rifkind Levy Partnership (RLP) which owns a 999-year lease on land containing two disused Network Rail tunnels on the eastern edge of Lord’s fronting Wellington Road. The project’s development partner is Almacantar.

MCC owns a 125-year lease on the land’s surface and subsoil extending to roughly 45 centimetres and currently holds a temporary hospitality suite on the plot.

RLP said Herzog and de Meuron was currently re-amending its masterplan while an unnamed architect was working in conjunction with the famous Swiss studio on the hospital expansion proposal.

Alongside hospital facilities, RLP’s offer includes a museum, shop, fitness centre, nursery pavilion, sports injury clinic and guest suites for visiting players.

Parking and acute care hospital facilities would be located in disused tunnels beneath the site with apartments placed on the roof.

Improved public realm and a new gateway to the home of cricket are also proposed.

In contrast to AHMM’s earlier vision for four tall residential blocks, the latest proposal continues the scale and height of existing buildings along Wellington Road.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: ‘Our hospital is expanding all the time and demand from the local community and other sources for the complex medicine we provide is growing all the time. If we could find new ways of giving us space next to the hospital we would be very much interested in doing that.’

They added: ‘We would very much like to work with anyone who has an agreed plan that might benefit the hospital, the community, Lords and cricket as a whole.’

The MCC declined to comment on the hospital scheme and it is understood the club has played no part in drafting the proposal.

Populous was appointed by the MCC and given ‘carte blanche’ to look at the entire site in April, however the Olympic Stadium-designer’s proposals have yet to go before the club’s committee.


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