Harpenden tennis club appeals over expansion plans

Elliswick lawn tennis club

Elliswick lawn tennis club - Credit: Archant

It will be game, set and match to a government planning inspector following a tennis club’s decision to go to appeal over the rejection of a bid to expand and reposition junior tennis court facilities.

Elliswick Lawn Tennis Club in Browning Road, Harpenden, asked St Albans district council to give the green light to replace its junior tennis court and practice wall with two junior courts, positioned adjacent to its main courts.

The council, which rejected the scheme in June last year, described the club as having seven all-weather tennis courts, a junior tennis court and clubhouse within a quiet residential area – with homes near to the site.

With the proposal resulting in an “intensification of the leisure use by doubling the number of junior tennis courts from one to two, resulting in nine courts in total” the authority said it feared such expansion could result in a “notable increase in vehicle traffic” and noise.

The council said there was a lengthy planning history of applications for floodlighting - all refused bar one - at the tennis club to facilitate extended hours until 9.30pm, which led it to believe there were “issues” over attempts to increased intensification of this “non-residential use within this residential area”.

The council refused the extension because of its scale, proximity to the site boundary, loss of screen planting and difference in site levels which would “result in a detrimental visual impact and loss of privacy for the occupiers of Nos 20 and 22 Sauncey Avenue.”

But the club has questioned this rejection and in its grounds of appeal, it says the impact of removing the fence boundary, extending it and removing a section of leylandii would not have a detrimental impact on its neighbours.

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A decision on the appeal is pending.