Intense Debate on Tennis Club Proposals

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Tarvin Tennis Club has applied to Cheshire West and Chester for planning permission to erect 6 floodlights on poles to illuminate the bottom two courts. The scheme is to be funded by a grant from Sports England. The proposal came before the Parish Council on Monday (Feb 23rd) and the meeting was attended by a number of residents of Crossfields who used the Open Forum to voice their strong objections to the plans.

The strongest objections concerned the spillage of light from the installation which would be intrusive into the gardens and rear rooms of the adjoining properties. The visual intrusion of the 6 poles, 8 metres high, was also felt to be unacceptable too close to their properties by the residents affected.

In the discussion that followed, the Parish Council accepted that the lights were of the most modern type and had been chosen and designed to reduce light spillage, but agreed that the close proximity to so many residential properties was an insurmountable problem. Figures in the submission appeared to show that the strength of the light would be higher than that generated by the existing floodlights on the bowling green.

While being a firm supporter of the development of sports activities, Council questioned whether the Tennis Club was so over-subscribed to warrant such a potential expansion of playing hours. Though with a long history in the village, being there before the houses were built, a majority of adult playing members appear to be from outside the village. The Parish Council accepted that up to 70 local youngsters do use the club but questioned how many of this age group might use the courts on a winters evening. The lack of an environmental impact study on the wildlife in the mature hedge between the courts and the residential gardens was also mentioned.

After a detailed discussion the Parish Council agreed that it would not recommend that the planning permission be granted, citing the intrusion the proposal would have on the existing amenities of nearby residents. It also asked that environmental consideration be looked at more carefully. As a final indication of the seriousness with which the Parish Council takes the proposal, it requested that it be considered by the member-led Planning Committee and that the decision not be left in the hands of Planning Officers alone.

The Parish Council is the Trustee of the registered charity responsible for the present and future care of the Playing Field and thus has final say on all that affects the site. Council met as Trustee in a private meeting following the Parish Council meeting to discuss the matter further.