PARIS, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 10th Nov, 2016 ) - The expansion of Roland Garros, the historic home of the French Open, was on Thursday given the green light by a Paris court after winning a long-running legal battle. The Paris High Court found in favour of the French tennis federation (FFT) over a planned 400-million-euro ($448 million) redevelopment of the site in the plush western sector of Paris. Development of the new 5,000-seat stadium in the Serres d'Auteuil had been hampered by protests over the impact the work would have on the botanical garden's historic greenhouses which date back to the 19th century.
The court dismissed protests by Laurence and Virginia Formige, great granddaughers of architect Jean-Camille Formige. "This is a decision without ambiguity. We feel victory is close. Work has restarted and will not stop again," said FFT director general Jeremy Botton, who added the court should be ready by 2019. The issue is far from closed however with the Formige heirs set to appeal again with a new judicial appointment already scheduled for early 2017.
Philippe Zagury, the lawyer for the Formige family, insisted an appeal would be lodged against "this extremely disappointing decision". On the ground, the diggers have been working for the past two weeks following the resumption of work. 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.