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Tennis club plans recommended to be approved
7:00am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
Controversial plans to expand Ilkley Tennis Club, which members say will help safeguard its future, have been recommended for approval by Council planning officers.
The club wants to extend facilities to include a gym and indoor tennis court, as well as three outdoor courts, and says the plans are an important part of increasing membership.
Next week members will find out if the scheme gets the go ahead from Bradford Council.
Planning officers will tell councillors that while the expansion will cause some issues for neighbours, these are outweighed by the benefits it will bring to the club and the town.
A number of neighbours have objected to the proposals because they feel it would lead to hundreds more cars at the club, causing noise and traffic problems, and fear extra floodlights will create light pollution.
Objections have already led to the club compromising one of its plans, for a 96-space overflow car park on a nearby field. Last month the club removed the overflow car park from the application.
And after objections and a petition signed by 140 people were sent to the Council, the club has also pledged to create a footpath between Stourton Road and the tennis club as a way of improving road safety.
But despite these objections, the club does have numerous supporters, including Ilkley Parish Council, who described the club as “an asset to the town.”
And the British Lawn Tennis Association has also offered support. A letter from the association to the Council praises the club saying: “They are a very genuine group of volunteers who are trying extremely hard to develop further the sporting facilities for the benefit of the local community.
“The club is also a very important competition centre for the LTA and runs a wide variety of local, regional and national competitions for children and adults.”
A report by planning officers to the Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel states: “The club is nationally significant, particularly in the coaching of junior talent and the hosting of tournaments, and they consider that the building of indoor courts is important to ensure that first class facilities are available all year round.”
It says that although it “will increase the general level of disturbance experienced by local residents,” it would not be enough to refuse planning permission.
Protect our Ilkley Scenic Environment, a group set up to stop the application, believes the club has underestimated the amount of traffic the expansion would create.
It plans to attend the meeting to voice their concerns.
The panel meets at Keighley Town Hall on Wednesday at 10am.