It is third time unlucky for club
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.
rejected: The former Peterborough City Lawn Tennis Club in Park Crescent. (METP-09-06-10DL014)