Murray mania might not be enough to save tennis courts

First published in News Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

JUST weeks after Andy Murray won Wimbledon, a set of tennis courts in Hereford could be lost to the bulldozers.

BBC commentators are often heard bemoaning the lack of available places for children to swing a racket and imitate their Scottish hero.

But all-weather courts – originally built as five-aside football pitches – welcome Hereford youngsters who patiently queue to play tennis for free after community leaders found the cash to buy nets and paint the necessary lines.

However, all that could change if Herefordshire Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) are successful when they submit a renewed planning application to tear up the public courts.

The local authority wants the small site located off Grandstand Road in Westfields in order to extend the Three Elms Trading Estate. An original proposal, approved in 2009, has since expired.

Councillor Charles Nicholls, ward councillor for Three Elms, is one of those fighting the plans.

He said the 2009 application was set up to accommodate traders being moved from Hereford’s old livestock market to make way for the new retail park.

However, according to Coun Nicholls, not one of the businesses moved to the Three Elms Trading Estate as all affected found other sites in the county.

He added: “The Three Elms Trading Estate has a really derelict appearance with old, out of date, tired looking buildings which have no appeal to would-be occupiers.

“This is yet another example of this administation’s political agenda which takes no notice of the people’s voice.

“In light of the fabulous success of Andy Murray and what it will do for tennis in the months and years to come, it makes our situation even more important.”

Sue Jones, secretary of the Grandstand Residents’ Association which set up the tennis courts, said: “I think it’s awful that we could lose them, especially when there are nine empty units opposite the courts.”

Ian Higgs, development officer at Herefordshire Council, said that the area has always been intended to be included in the employment zone.

He added: “The area historically used as a tennis court is in poor condition, with damaged surface, a broken surrounding wall and damaged chain link fencing above the wall level.”

A planning application to renew the permission needed to extend the trading estate is expected to be submitted soon.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:14am Thu 25 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

I don't know the courts/football pitches, the planning designation or the history. But isn't this a good case for seeking "planning gain", if that's the phrase, and seeing developers or others coughing up and contributing towards tennis provision in the city?

Not so obvious where the money would come from for upkeep and operation but a combination of sponsorship and contributions might make it work.
I don't know the courts/football pitches, the planning designation or the history. But isn't this a good case for seeking "planning gain", if that's the phrase, and seeing developers or others coughing up and contributing towards tennis provision in the city? Not so obvious where the money would come from for upkeep and operation but a combination of sponsorship and contributions might make it work. WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

9:53am Thu 25 Jul 13

Hilary Jones says...

Higgs, the jobsworth: “The area historically used as a tennis court is in poor condition, with damaged surface, a broken surrounding wall and damaged chain link fencing above the wall level.”

And that's an excuse for spending money destroying it altogether even if it's not needed for the trading estate, is it? Why not spend the money you obviously have repairing the courts for local use instead?

This is another example of bureaucrats in offices refusing to listen or think when people raise alternative solutions, instead insisting on staying on their tramlines. It's the same with the Edgar Street trees - "I hear your complaints, but we will replace them you know" (not with several fine mature lime trees, you won't). Take the plugs out of your ears, you lot!
Higgs, the jobsworth: “The area historically used as a tennis court is in poor condition, with damaged surface, a broken surrounding wall and damaged chain link fencing above the wall level.” And that's an excuse for spending money destroying it altogether even if it's not needed for the trading estate, is it? Why not spend the money you obviously have repairing the courts for local use instead? This is another example of bureaucrats in offices refusing to listen or think when people raise alternative solutions, instead insisting on staying on their tramlines. It's the same with the Edgar Street trees - "I hear your complaints, but we will replace them you know" (not with several fine mature lime trees, you won't). Take the plugs out of your ears, you lot! Hilary Jones
  • Score: 2

10:47am Thu 25 Jul 13

dippyhippy says...

Well said Hilary Jones!
Well said Hilary Jones! dippyhippy
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Thu 25 Jul 13

Hilary Jones says...

Thanks *blushes*
Thanks *blushes* Hilary Jones
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Thu 25 Jul 13

Mrslawrence66 says...

These were very popular when I was younger and now they have been done again will more than likely have the same effect.

STOP taking off the youth of Hereford!!

It's depressing enough here for them without taking the free things for them to do.

Herefordshire council just TAKE TAKE TAKE. Enough is enough!!
These were very popular when I was younger and now they have been done again will more than likely have the same effect. STOP taking off the youth of Hereford!! It's depressing enough here for them without taking the free things for them to do. Herefordshire council just TAKE TAKE TAKE. Enough is enough!! Mrslawrence66
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Thu 25 Jul 13

jarvis 2 says...

is three elms trading estate no owne by the Hyde family as in former counciller George Hyde
is three elms trading estate no owne by the Hyde family as in former counciller George Hyde jarvis 2
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Thu 25 Jul 13

William Rudd says...

Well I bet all the businesses on Three Elms trading estate are really liking you Charlie.
Well I bet all the businesses on Three Elms trading estate are really liking you Charlie. William Rudd
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Thu 25 Jul 13

jarvis 2 says...

William Rudd wrote:
Well I bet all the businesses on Three Elms trading estate are really liking you Charlie.
all 3 of them
[quote][p][bold]William Rudd[/bold] wrote: Well I bet all the businesses on Three Elms trading estate are really liking you Charlie.[/p][/quote]all 3 of them jarvis 2
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree