|Blow for Dukes Meadows Tennis 'Dome'|
Refusal recommended for extension of operation through the Summer
An attempt by the tennis and golf club at Dukes Meadows to extend permission for their temporary tennis 'dome' to operate during the Summer appears to have failed. Council planners are recommending that a request to alter the conditions by which it operates to allow it to continue operating through to 15 October be declined.
The dome had been operating under a six month seasonal arrangement since last year when the Council turned down an application (00503/B/P31) for a ten year license to run the facility. The basis for the refusal was that the dome was an inappropriate development for Metropolitan Open Land and would be harmful to the openess and character of the site. The decision not to grant a 10 year extension is currently being appealed. The latest application received 9 letters of support and just one objection.
Four years ago, local celebrities including Tim Henman and Clare Balding had called on Council planning officers to have a change of heart over a decision to refuse planning permission for the Dome. At the time the Dukes Meadows Tennis and Golf Centre had claimed it might have to close if it did not get permission.
In 2013, planning permission was granted for the erection of the dome all year round for a period of two years to allow the applicant to work up a more sustainable solution.
Prior to that the demountable air cushioned dome which covers five of the tennis courts had been allowed seasonal erection for six months of the year from October to April.
This was the second time in two years that the Council had opposed the idea of a permanent dome on the site.
The structure measures 10.5m high, is 36.5m wide and 83.5m long and is constructed from an impermeable woven PVC fabric. A total of 20 floodlights would be mounted on 4m high columns to light the dome internally, with hours of use to be 07:00am to 10:00pm, seven days a week.
We have asked the club for a comment on the decision.
June 19, 2015