Ten­nis club wants the lights to stay on

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By LAU­REN PRIESTLEY

Ten­nis clubs across Auck­land are ral­ly­ing against a lights-out pro­posal which would cut back their play­ing hours.

A clause in the pro­posed Uni­tary Plan states flood­lights in res­i­den­tial ar­eas must be switched off at 6pm on Sun­days and pub­lic hol­i­days in­stead of the usual 10pm.

Ten­nis clubs are of­ten nes­tled in pock­ets of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment and this will im­pact their mem­ber­ship and court use, clubs say.

Re­muera Rack­ets Club pres­i­dent Don Cot­ter says his club has a friendly re­la­tion­ship with its neigh­bours.

They have not re­ceived any com­plaints about the lights in 50 years Dil­worth Ave, he says.

‘‘I just can’t un­der­stand the need for it. We’ve been op­er­at­ing seven days a week with ab­so­lutely no neigh­bour­hood is­sues about lights – what’s driv­ing all of this?’’

Dur­ing day­light sav­ing the club’s lights are switched on

at about 8pm but dur­ing win­ter they go on from 5pm.

Events and com­pe­ti­tions are of­ten planned for pub­lic hol­i­day evenings, he says.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely the pub­lic hol­i­days in par­tic­u­lar that are a stick­ing point. And what rel­e­vance is Sun­day?

‘‘We’re to­tally anti it. I don’t think it will im­pact our mem­ber­ship but it’s just un­nec­es­sary.’’

Par­nell Ten­nis Club moved to its Auck­land Do­main site in 1956 and was there be­fore much of the de­vel­op­ment of the area, club man­ager John Hukins says. The club is sub­mit­ting against the pro­posal this week.

‘‘We’re sim­i­lar to the speed­way in that we are be­ing built up around. There is in­creas­ing res­i­den­tial pres­sure in close prox­im­ity.

‘‘It’s pretty dis­ap­point­ing, par­tic­u­larly given the coun­cil is so de­ter­mined to pro­mote health and well­be­ing at the mo­ment. It seems to be a bit of a con­tra­dic­tion.’’

Royal Oak Rack­ets Club man­ager John Fletcher says the change is un­nec­es­sary.

The club runs a large an­nual ju­nior tour­na­ment be­fore Christ­mas which usu­ally runs to about 11pm and would be af­fected by the pol­icy, he says.

‘‘Some mem­bers can only play af­ter work in the evenings. We have a good re­la­tion­ship with our neigh­bours so I don’t see the need for there to be hard and fast rules.’’

Eden Ep­som Ten­nis & Squash Club pres­i­dent Paul O’Brian says the change, if im­ple­mented, wouldn’t af­fect his club too badly.

‘‘We’re a fam­ily club and most peo­ple would be pretty much gone by 6pm in the win­ter months when it starts to get dark any­way.’’

An Auck­land Coun­cil spokesper­son says the pol­icy has been made to align the noise and light con­trols in res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

The Sport and Ac­tive Re­cre­ation Zone al­lows flood­lights un­til 10pm but the Res­i­den­tial Zone in­cludes a rule that flood­lights must be turned off at 6pm on Sun­days and pub­lic hol­i­days.

Sub­mis­sions to the pro­posed Auck­land Uni­tary Plan close on Fri­day.

Bench break: He­len, left, Marco and Ralf Schn­abel take a rest on the Cur­ran St loveseat.

Don Cot­ter

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