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  • Gail Collins

Anyone for Tennis?

We are delighted to have secured planning permission for our clients, Solihull Arden Club, for a 'Padel Tennis' proposal at their long established tennis and racket sports complex in the heart of Solihull. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Planning Committee, despite objectors's concerns.

Padel tennis is a sport derived from lawn tennis and has been played globally since the 1960s; it provides an exciting twist on traditional tennis and is popular in southern Spain and along the Mediterranean and is growing in popularity here, The name refers to the paddles that players use during play. Padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court a third the size of a tennis court. Scoring is similar to traditional tennis and the ball is similar but with a little less pressure. The main difference is that the court has a surrounding enclosure that the ball can be played off, in a similar way as in the game of squash. Courts can be open or enclosed.

Traditional tennis has been played at the Solihull Arden site since 1920 and the Club has always had a strong membership base but is aware that it needs to evolve to ensure its continued success and future sustainability. As the Club goes into its centenary year, it is hoped the padel proposal will generate interest in tennis and racket sports at the site.

The proposal is for 4 padel tennis courts (2 of which are enclosed), a touch tennis court, floodlighting and additional car parking.

The approval follows a number of previous historical applications withdrawn by the Club. Tyler Parkes became involved last year with the latest proposal, advising the Club to address the concerns raised in the previous proposals, primarily concerning the impacts of noise and lighting associated with the proposal. We also recommended engaging with the local community and to this end, neighbours and local residents were consulted on the proposals, through literature, drop-in sessions and meetings.

In preparing the planning application submission, we worked closely with the Club, and with the architect, noise consultant, lighting consultant, ecologist and arboriculturalist. The Club secured the support of Sport England, Public Health, the local MP, community groups and leaders.

During the processing of the application, we liaised closely with the Council's Planning Officers, satisfactorily addressing the comments of all consultees. We secured a strong officer recommendation for approval of the application.

In addressing the Planning Committee in response to the objectors' presentation, TPP Director Gail Collins confirmed that the scheme had Officer and consultee support, the proposed conditions met the objectors' concerns and satisfied the policies of the Development Plan. The vital importance of the proposal to the future of the Club was stressed, as well as the crucial role that sporting facilities such as Solihull Arden Club play in the health and well-being of the Borough's residents. The Committee were advised that the Club is investing heavily in the padel proposal and wish it to be a great success.

The application was unanimously approved by the Committee on 2nd October 2019.


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