Planning verdict could finish club

PUBLISHED: 12:08 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:47 12 May 2010

THE future of a tennis club that has run in a village for nearly 50 years lies with a council decision. Ashwell Tennis Club, which was created in 1961, has submitted a second planning application to North Herts District Council to erect three tennis court

THE future of a tennis club that has run in a village for nearly 50 years lies with a council decision.

Ashwell Tennis Club, which was created in 1961, has submitted a second planning application to North Herts District Council to erect three tennis courts with state-of-the-art low-level floodlighting, on the outskirts of the village.

But club secretary Jason Boorman said it will be the end of the road for the club if the application is refused.

The club had a base at the former Merchant Taylor's site in Mill Road, but redevelopment of the site has left the club homeless. The village has, therefore, been without facilities for the past five years because the club has found it difficult to find a suitable piece of land.

But thanks to a local farmer the project, which has the full support of Ashwell Parish Council, could get off the ground as soon as next summer.

The £100,000 project would mean that residents will have a base to play tennis, football and netball.

Mr Boorman said: "One of the biggest problems that faces Ashwell is having sports facilities that cater for youngsters who can't drive.

"So to have a facility which is cross-gendered will give youngsters something to do other than hang around at bus stops. And tennis is fantastic for keeping fit."

The club was granted permission to erect tennis courts on its first application, but without the provision of floodlighting.

Mr Boorman said: "For the project to be economical we need to run it through the winter and rent it out to other clubs, so it will need lighting."

Funds for the project will come from The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and fund-raising.

Mr Boorman added: "We are trying to make the club go on for another couple of generations."

- The club is looking for donations to get the project moving. E-mail info@ashwelltennisclub, call Mr Boorman on 01462 743896, Edward Humbert, chairman, on 01462 742961 or Tom Gearing, social secretary, on 01462 742367.

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