This latest development is a significant step in Wimbledon's 2030 vision of transforming the site at the All England Club after Thursday's meeting ended with the Councillors voting six to four in favor of the proposed project called the AELTC Wimbledon Park Project.
It comes just a few months from the long-running saga with furious residents who have staged public protests and even called for a joint meeting, but Wimbledon officials declined to respond. The expansion site is expected to be at the former Wimbledon Park Golf site.
Planning officers deemed the project to be "too big" and likely to result in "physical harm" to the Metropolitan Open Lan, but came to the conclusion that the public benefits outweigh the cons. Aside from the economic benefits like increased ticket sales, Wimbledon will provide a 9.4-hectare public park which they say will enhance biodiversity.
"After considering the officer's report, relevant submissions, and the relevant planning framework, the independent planning committee, made up of councillors from all parties, voted to approve the application made by the All England Lawn Tennis Ground (AELTG) for expansion of its site at Wimbledon."
However, in the statement, the spokesperson noted that there are further stages to the "planning process", meaning that Wimbledon's plan still faces local opposition and additional approvals will be required before the construction works begin.
Wimbledon is currently the only Grand Slam tournament that stages its qualifying event off-site (in Roehampton). But now that the expansion project has received its first greenlight, with a completion time of 2030, the qualifying event will be moved to the newly constructed tennis courts. It is estimated that at least 10,000 fans per day will be able to visit the qualifying event.