The future of tennis in Merton just became a lot clearer after members of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club decided to sell off its land.

In doing so, the will transfer into the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet group of companies effective December 21, pending court approval of the sale.

The AELTC called this move an "exciting step" for the future of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Philip Brook, Chairman of the AELTC, said: “The decision of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club members to vote in favour of the acquisition offer is a hugely significant moment for the AELTC and The Championships.

"We have achieved what we set out to do many months ago in having certainty in our planning for the future.

"In many ways, it will be business as usual for the Wimbledon Park Golf Club during the next couple of years, but the AELTC will use this time to give careful consideration to our next steps.

As per the terms of the acquisition, WPGC will continue to operate as an 18-hole golf course until December 31, 2021, with at least one further year as a 9 or 10-hole golf course on a rolling basis subject to a 12-month notice period.

A statement issued by the AELTC said it would now begin to consider plans for the land as part of a broader new Championships Master Plan.

"As we have stressed throughout this process, any future development proposals will protect and celebrate the heritage of the park, be guided by our landscape advisers who have closely studied the significance and history of the land, and importantly, be delivered in partnership with the local community," the statement read.

"For the avoidance of doubt, there never has been and never will be any plans to build multi-storey car parks and shopping villages or any other structures that would be completely out of character for the AELTC and The Championships."

Over time the plan will be to migrate the qualifying competition onto the land.

“We have been open in our long-term ambition to move the qualifying competition from its current home in Roehampton to the AELTC grounds as part of our mission to continue to maintain the position of The Championships as the pinnacle of the sport," Mr Brook added.

"Furthermore, we have the ambition to open the land up to increased public use in the future.

“We will work with the local authorities and other interested parties as these plans are developed and I would like to emphasise that we have no intention of applying for change of use, planning permission or other approval to use the land that would be completely out of character for the AELTC and The Championships.”

It is expected that more details will be made available come spring of 2019.