Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Tennis club relocation approved

A TENNIS club is to relocate and sell its current site for housing.

Members of Caversham Lawn Tennis Club voted to move to the Mapledurham Estate rather than staying in Queensborough Drive and upgrading the facilities.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday last week when 150 of the 500 members voted and 62 per cent were favour of moving.

The club will now plan the move and sell the existing three-acre plot for a potential £4.5 million.

The new site, on which it has a draft lease agreement with the estate, is off the A4074 just north of Caversham Heath Golf Club.

Club chairman Peter Newman said: “It was a sizeable majority because I think they liked the possibilities that a move offered.

“There was a sense that our current site is hemmed in by neighbours and restricted in what can be done whereas the new site will be less constrained.

“The move clearly won’t happen overnight and this is at a very early stage. We’ve had lots of offers of help so the membership is behind us.”

The club has already been approached by developers about the availability of the site and says it has a duty to pursue the best possible deal.

Last year the club was refused permission to install nine 7m high floodlights as Reading Borough Council felt it would cause excessive light pollution.

The alternative to moving was to spend about £800,000 resurfacing the courts and improving the clubhouse with funding from the Lawn Tennis Association.

Campaign group Keep Emmer Green opposes the redevelopment of the site, saying it would add to traffic and air pollution problems.

Chairman Julian Ansell said he was disappointed at the vote, adding: “This will be more housing that we don’t need in Caversham Heights.”

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