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TENNIS players have slammed plans to turn some of their club’s courts into an all weather football pitch.
Hove Park Tennis Club members are worried that they will lose some of their facilities if Brighton and Hove City Council does not reverse the decision to turn five of the club’s astroturf tennis courts into 3G football pitches.
Neil Dickson, a Hove Park Tennis Club member, from Portslade, said: “Why can’t we have a multipurpose surface to use?
“There are seven hard courts and the other five courts are astroturf courts which might be replaced.
“We have members of all ages. It feels like a real kick in the teeth. We have been using these facilities for years.
“We play all our matches on the courts and are still waiting for the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee to get the decision reversed.”
Money could be made available for the planned changes through the council’s Section 106 funding project, whereby developers provide funding for local facilities in exchange for developments being built.
Contributions are used to reduce the impact of a new development and to make sure it does not put more pressure on existing infrastructure.
At the council’s tourism, development and culture committee meeting on Thursday, Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth asked: “Will the chairman detail his role in the recent decision by Brighton and Hove City Council to change tennis courts in Hove Park into football pitches?”
Committee chairman Alan Robins, replied: “Hove Park is within the responsibilities of Cityparks and therefore councillor Gill Mitchell, as the portfolio holder for environment, transport and sustainability, was consulted on the decision as well as the ward councillors, councillor Vanessa Brown and councillor Jayne Bennett.
“I was therefore not involved in the decision.”
Mark Sessions, chairman of Hove Park Colts Football Club, said: “Our team is struggling to find enough places to train. We are dotted around the area trying to find suitable places and I run 15 teams.
“My understanding is that Section 106 money has to be used for enhancement and that replacement is not an option, so it can either become a 3G pitch or there are not many other options to develop the courts.
“New pitches would have long term benefits to the local community.”
Councillors will consider the plans at the environment, transport and sustainability committee meeting next Tuesday.
Source: The Argus