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Lord’s to rethink David Morley’s £200m regeneration offer

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The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is set to reconsider plans by David Morley Architects to regenerate the Nursery End at Lord’s cricket ground in west London

A fresh review of Morley’s mothballed Blueprint for Lord’s – which offers a £200 million windfall for the venue – will be put forward for members of the prestigious club to approve in May.

The move comes a year after MCC members voted to defer a decision on the proposal – which is backed by Rifkind Levy Partnership (RLP) – and focus instead on redeveloping the ground’s south-western corner and Warner Stand (see AJ 08.05.14).

Morley’s original proposal included two 11-storey blocks of flats plus a new entrance on Wellington Road and enlarged events and broadcasting facilities.

RLP owns a 999-year lease on land at Nursery End containing two disused Network Rail tunnels while MCC owns a 125-year lease on the land’s surface and subsoil extending to roughly 45 centimetres.

A temporary events pavilion by David Morley currently occupies the site which has previously been the focus of shelved MCC-backed regeneration plans by both Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and Herzog & de Meuron.

In a statement to members, outgoing MCC chair Oliver Stocken called on members to endorse a ‘thorough review’ of Morley’s proposal including ‘an analysis of financial and commercial factors.’

He said: ‘There has been much discussion within the membership concerning the redevelopment of land leased from RLP. It is also recognised that there is a significant amount of confusion among members on this subject, and the committee is keen to clarify the position.’

He continued: ‘The review will also provide an appraisal of the Club’s ten-year financial projections, including the funding plans for the South-Western Project. The future of international cricket and the strength of the position of Lord’s is an important context for this aspect of the review.’

Members will also be asked to endorse the start of construction in September on a £21 million regeneration of the Warner Stand – featuring a semi-translucent roof supported by oak beams – designed by Populous.

The project is the first phase of Populous’ £200 million masterplan to increase the venue’s capacity by 2,700 to 32,000 which is planned to complete in 2027.

Populous’ plans to redevelop the Tavern and Allen stands in the club’s south west corner will also be submitted to Westminster City Council this summer if approved by members.

Populous was hired to work up alternative plans for Lord’s cricket ground in April 2012 following the collapse of AHMM’s redevelopment vision.

In November 2011, the 225-year-old cricket club officially abandoned a revised version of the masterplan by AHMM and developer Almacantar which featured four residential blocks, a colonnade and new indoor academy, allowing the club to expand its capacity from 28,000 to 33,000.

In October 2012 Herzog and de Meuron proposed a redevelopment plan incorporating luxury apartments and an extension to neighbouring Wellington hospital. A previous £400 million masterplan by Herzog & de Meuron for the west London venue was also shelved in 2011.

Populous principal and Olympic Stadium designer Philip Johnson previously worked on a 2006 masterplan for the Lord’s. The outfit was also hired to transform the Lord’s for archery during the 2012 London Olympics.





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