Posted: Thu 7th Dec 2023

Plans to improve Wrexham Tennis Centre facilities backed by councillors for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 7th, 2023

Plans to improve facilities at Wrexham Tennis Centre have been given the green light subject to officials being satisfied with new outdoor lighting.

An application was put forward in July to create three covered “padel” tennis courts in place of two existing courts at the centre on Plas Coch Road, Wrexham.

According to the Lawn Tennis Association, padel tennis is an “innovative form of tennis” played on courts measuring about a third the size of a normal tennis court.

The proposals also included the resurfacing of existing tennis courts, as well as the installation of LED floodlights, a canopy over the main entrance and solar panels and electric parking stations.

The changes were discussed by members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee on Monday afternoon.

Objections were received ahead of the meeting from Rhosddu Community Council and four nearby residents amid concerns over the loss of open space to accommodate the scheme and the potential nuisance caused by the lighting.

However, the council’s chief planning officer asked for delegated authority to approve the plans, subject to the authority’s public protection officer confirming they have no objection to the additional external lighting.

Speaking at the meeting, a planning officer Matthew Phillips said: “The development comprises of three elements, and they’re all designed to improve the facility.

“There are some external alterations to the building which are relatively minor in nature in terms of alterations to the appearance of the building.

“Then there are floodlights to existing tennis courts to improve their usability at certain times of the year.

“There is also the erection of enclosures to replace two existing tennis courts with what is known as padel tennis courts, which diversifies the offer of the site.

“The floodlight columns themselves wouldn’t be prominent or intrusive, and they would look quite similar to lighting columns elsewhere within the site.

“The padel tennis enclosures are far enough away from the residential properties that they wouldn’t be intrusive or harmful to residential amenity. The development is unlikely to increase noise given the existing use of the site.”

Mr Phillips said the one outstanding matter related to the need for additional information on lighting spill from the floodlights.

He said further comments were being invited from the council’s public protection department, hence the request for delegated authority to grant permission.

He added concerns over the loss of open space had been addressed by the removal of plans for two further tennis courts.

Local councillor Marc Jones said the alterations had addressed his own objections.

He said: “Initially, this was a plan that was going to take away quite a chunk of Ashfield Park and as such, it was opposed by many local residents and myself.

“We had some positive interaction with the tennis centre who recognize that and have withdrawn that element of it.

“What’s remaining is a revamp of the existing site, and it will be a really impressive revamp I believe.

“It will contribute to improving it as a regional centre, which can only be good in terms of improving Wrexham as a regional centre of the sport.

“(There are) caveats regarding the lighting, which is a concern, but that I think that’s something that can be overcome. I am happy to support it.”

Cllr Frank Hemmings, who sits on the planning committee, said the new smaller form of tennis was growing in popularity and he was happy to support the scheme.

Cllr Jeremy Kent added: “Having gone through the report, it sounds like a positive adaptation to the site.

“I appreciate the concern around floodlights but from living within visible distance of the Racecourse Ground, it’s one of those things that sometimes just goes hand in hand with positive improvements to our communities.”

The officer’s recommendation was unanimously approved at the end of the debate.

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