Blewbury Tennis Club currently has over 300 members for the 2016/17 season, more than ever before due to success in the leagues, which has attracted more members, and a thriving junior programme. In recent years, the club has invested in a new clubhouse, extending the lower courts so that the club now has 4 full length courts, cleaning and painting all 4 courts in 2016 and reinforcing the top fencing for installation of court screening. These works have provided an excellent facility for members.
The club’s committee and members are now interested in installing court lighting at the club so that coaching and social tennis can take place beyond 4pm when it gets dark in the winter months. We believe that court lighting will help to attract and retain members, providing an excellent tennis facility for the local community. The expected life of the court lighting would be in the region of 25 years.
There are a number of specific benefits:
- Kids coaching on Wednesday afternoons (after school) could take place at the courts all year – currently this moves into Blewbury Village Hall in the winter months when the clocks change.
- Adult coaching could take place in the evenings reducing court congestion.
- Social tennis on Wednesday evenings could take place all year – currently summer only.
If Blewbury were to install the new LED lighting, then there are a number of additional advantages:
- Lights turn on/off at the switch of a button – no warm up / cool down time.
- The running costs are significantly reduced.
- There is remarkably little light “spillage” as demonstrated by these pictures of Wantage Tennis Club.
It is recognised that the village has no street lighting and is keen to protect that status. However, there is existing all night security lighting at the Melland Room and lighting at the garage and golf range until 10pm. This proposal enhances the sports facility and the overall village infrastructure with minimal light impact.
Current LED lighting technology means that there is very little “light spillage” minimising the impact on the village and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The club is receptive to complying with any appropriate timing restrictions, current thinking is for lights off by 10pm. Only courts in use will be lit.
Consultation approach and next steps:
The club have already discussed this with Blewbury Parish Council and are also in the process of receiving pre-planning advice from VOWH. Before investing significant time and cost in the project the committee are inviting views from residents on the proposed scheme.
If initial indications are positive, then the next steps are to:
- Draw up requirements/tender documentation and tender the contract.
- Appoint an architect and get detailed drawings done.
- Apply for planning permission (approx. 3 month process).
- Seek funding from OLTA (loan), LTA ‘growing the game’ (loan and/or grant), Vale Capital Grant, any section 106 money available.
Please respond with and any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and by all means ask for a meeting or call back if appropriate and one of the committee will be in touch.
Blewbury Tennis Club Committee May 2017