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Lord’s Cricket Ground housing plans to be shelved

PUBLISHED: 12:03 12 April 2012 | UPDATED: 12:56 12 April 2012

The crucial vote on development at Lord's will take place on May 2

The crucial vote on development at Lord's will take place on May 2

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Long-running plans to build apartments on a prime site at Lord’s Cricket Ground could be shelved for good next month.

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is asking its members to prevent developers moving in on a 1.6 acre plot of land by voting against any future residential development.

The club owns a 125-year lease for the top 18 inches of land at the Nursery End of the cricket ground.

A long-running dispute over the redevelopment of the land came to a head last year when former Prime Minister John Major resigned from the MCC committee after the club rejected plans for a £400million redevelopment of Lord’s.

The radical “Vision for Lord’s” proposals would have seen five towers of luxury flats built at the Nursery End along with other major changes around the ground.

But the MCC went back on the proposals and, in February, the committee voted against fresh plans for homes to be built on the site.

Now at a meeting scheduled for May 2 the club is asking members to vote on a resolution “not to permit any residential development” at the Nursery End.

An MCC spokesman said: “Members will be voting on a resolution and asked to support the committee’s decision not to build residential development on the plot of land.

“The MCC can do what it wants to do on its own land and with its own money.”

The move follows reports that Britain’s largest private hospital, the Wellington, located next door to Lord’s in St John’s Wood, has drawn up new plans to develop the Nursery End site – something the hospital denies.

A spokesman for the hospital denied speculation that fresh proposals for an underground children’s hospital, sports clinic and museum had been submitted to the MCC.

“We’re always happy to sit down and talk with our neighbours. But there is absolutely nothing new on the table,” he said.

“Clearly there have been discussions in the past and various developers have put plans forward. But nothing has changed for the last eight or nine years.”

While the MCC owns the leasehold for the top 18 inches of ground at the Nursery End, developers Rifkind Levy Partnership (RLP) – which was behind the Carlton Gate housing development in Maida Vale – hold a 990-year lease for the ground beneath.

Two disused tunnels which run under the Nursery End are also leased to RLP and are only accessible from the Wellington Hospital site next door.

The resolution against future residential development marks a dramatic U-turn from last year when the MCC said it was “fully focused” on developing the Nursery End.

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