It is third time un­lucky for club

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By NICK REINIS

PLANS to build three homes on the site of one of the coun­try’s old­est ten­nis clubs have been re­jected for the third time by city coun­cil­lors.

Peter­bor­ough City Lawn Ten­nis Club had hoped to build one three-bed­room and two four-bed­room houses on its for­mer courts in Park Cres­cent.

The courts, which had catered for the club for around a cen­tury, have been un­used since 2005 af­ter they be­came un­playable – the club now plays its matches at Peter­bor­ough Town Sports Club, in Bret­ton Gate.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s plan­ning and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion com­mit­tee re­jected the pro­posal on Tues­day.

Its main con­cern was the terms of the club’s sec­tion 106 agree­ment with the coun­cil, which re­quires them to pro­vide re­place­ment ten­nis fa­cil­i­ties in the city.

The club promised to make £100,000 avail­able for two new all­weather floodlit courts at its Bret­ton base.

Club of­fi­cials said if they had not cre­ated the new courts within a year of sell­ing the land, they would give the money to the coun­cil to use.

But ward councillor John Peach said: “It’s con­trary to our own es­tab­lished plan­ning poli­cies for the pro­tec­tion of the con­ser­va­tion area and lo­cal ameni­ties.

“No plan­ning per­mis­sion has been granted for al­ter­na­tive ten- nis courts and no pro­vi­sion is be­ing pro­vided for any chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties.”

Cllr Peach’s ob­jec­tions were also backed by Peter­bor­ough MP Ste­wart Jack­son and letters from 44 res­i­dents.

Plan­ning con­sul­tant for the club’s agent Baker Storey Matthews, John Dadge promised the com­mit­tee the new courts would be built.

He said: “Peter­bor­ough will re­ceive two new hard courts. This plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion will en­able new fa­cil­i­ties for the city.

“The Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion has been in­volved and it is sup­port­ing this, which has been for­got­ten by ob­jec­tors.”

But councillor Yvonne Lown­des, who sits on the plan­ning com­mit­tee, said: “We still haven’t got a site for the new ten- nis courts, so what’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween their pre­vi­ous ap­pli­ca­tion and this ap­pli­ca­tion?

“It would be a lot dif­fer­ent if they could say they have plan­ning per­mis­sion for the new courts.”

Coun­cil­lors voted to re­ject the plans, which had been rec­om­mended for ap­proval by plan­ning of­fi­cers, by six votes to one. There was one ab­sten­tion.

Speak­ing af­ter the meet­ing, Mr Dadge said he did not know if the club would ap­peal or sub­mit a new ap­pli­ca­tion to the coun­cil.

It is the third time that the coun­cil has re­jected the plans. The last two times the ten­nis club ap­pealed to the plan­ning in­spec­torate who up­held the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

Its last ap­pli­ca­tion in Novem­ber 2008 at­tracted a 311-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion of ob­jec­tion.

Pic­ture: david lown­des.

re­jected: The for­mer Peter­bor­ough City Lawn Ten­nis Club in Park Cres­cent. (METP-09-06-10DL014)

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