Roland Garros extension gets green light again


Paris (AFP)

Controversial work on the expansion of Roland Garros, the historic but cramped home of the French Open, was given the green light to resume again on Friday.

The Paris High Court found in favour of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and quashed a ruling issued on October 6 which had ordered work to stop.

It is the latest twist in a long-running saga involving the 400-million-euro ($448 million) redevelopment of the site in the plush western sector of Paris.

The FFT had hit out at "manipulation" or at least "a lie by omission" by the claimants who had applied that work be stopped urgently by suggesting that the historical greenhouses built by architect Jean-Camille Formige, which date back to the 19th century, were about to be destroyed.

"The work involves modern greenhouses built in the 1980s and in 2001," according to lawyers for the FFT.

"This decision is fully consistent with our requests, this shows that there has been manipulation," FFT lawyer Julien Guinot-Delery told AFP.

The French Conseil d'Etat (Council of State) earlier this month overturned a March ruling that blocked development of a new 5,000-seat stadium in the Serres d'Auteuil due to protests over the impact the work would have on the botanical garden's historic greenhouses.

Part of the redevelopment of Roland Garros will also see a roof built on the central Court Philippe Chatrier but that is not expected to be finished before 2020.

The sport's other three Grand Slam events -- Wimbledon and the US and Australian Opens -- all have covered stadiums.