Councillors want meeting to keep tennis courts

PUBLISHED: 06:52 26 July 2014

Tennis courts nr Grove park, Weston.

Tennis courts nr Grove park, Weston.

Archant

TOWN councillors want a group meeting with North Somerset, Weston College and St John's Church to thrash out an agreement over the future of Weston's Grove Park tennis courts.

Protesting over plans to turn them into a car parkProtesting over plans to turn them into a car park

North Somerset Council has long wanted to convert the courts into a car park, but has been blocked by a historic church covenant - meaning the land must be used for leisure purposes.

But now the authority has secured planning permission for the conversion, deputy leader of the district council Elfan Ap Rees has suggested a half-and-half scheme, extending the neighbouring car park onto one half of the courts, and retaining the other half for sporting use.

This idea was taken to Weston Town Council community services committee meeting last week but members still refused to entertain the notion of any car parking on the courts.

Councillor John Crockford-Hawley said: “This site has been in sporting use for the community and we should support that exclusively.”

Protesting over plans to turn them into a car parkProtesting over plans to turn them into a car park

Town clerk Malcolm Nicholson told members there had been a ‘suggestion’ the church council may not accept the half-and-half plan.

Cllr Clive Darke suggested using some town council money to support the site in keeping it in recreational use. He said: “Lets put some money towards something that will be well used, we do 
not need any more car parking in this town.”

Cllr Crockford-Hawley added: “If we could have a sensible discussion with the town council, North Somerset, Weston College and the church where people are not baying for blood from each other, we can see where we can go in getting quality recreational facilities for young people.

“The tennis courts should remain in recreational use and no part of it should become a car park.”

Members voted against the half-and-half scheme but agreed to request a meeting in an effort to help the various parties iron out future plans.

Weston College has previously been approached as a possible partner in any site development, while church representatives have told the Mercury that no agreement for the covenant to be relaxed has been reached.

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