Agenda item

DM/20/0883 - Tennis Courts Club House, Victoria Park, South Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 4HT.


The Chairman outlined the public speaking procedure and invited the public speakers to the meeting.


Andrew Horrell, Planning Officer introduced the application which sought planning permission for the demolition of the existing timber framed tennis clubhouse and the reconstruction in brickwork with a pitched roof. He noted that the new building complies with the relevant planning policies and seeks to enhance the facilities available on site. It will keep the same orientation with doors and main windows facing the tennis courts and the mesh fencing surrounding the site will be removed.  The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the Agenda Update Sheet which includes an additional 2 letters of objection and noted that it was before the Committee as the land is owned by Mid Sussex District Council.


Michael Preston-Shoot,localresident spoke against the application on the grounds of encroachment to the open space as a result of the size of the building, loss of privacy and concerns about increased use.


Councillor Richard Bates,Ward Member spoke against the application. With no objection to the playing of tennis, he raised concern about conduct off-court if more people are using the facility in the future. He observed that the increased size of the building did not allow for a dedicated changing facility or shower and asked if a compromise could be sought on the height of the new building.  He also sought clarification on any encroachment that the building may have on the adjacent footpath.


In response to the Ward Member and a question from the Chairman, the Planning Officer confirmed that the new height of the building will be 4.4m and that the layout inside includes a toilet but not a shower room as this was not a requirement of the club. Regarding the footpath, the building will be slightly closer to the path in the north eastern section but will not detrimentally impinge on it.


The Chairman noted that a clubhouse had been on the site for 40 years and was in need of an upgrade. There is condition on the application that the building cannot be used after 6pm and if there are further noise implications, the environmental health team can be consulted. Other Members agreed that the 6pm finish time was reasonable for community use and that a brick building would help dampen noise to a greater extent than the existing wooden building.


A Member asked if the Planning Officer could speak with the club regarding the provision of some screening to one side of the site, and some signs to be erected reminding players to respect the local resident’s privacy and remain quiet when leaving in the evenings.


A Member asked if a condition could be applied to request obscure glass for any window that may overlook adjacent properties.  Following discussion, it was noted that the building is an acceptable distance from nearby residents, (being the same distance that is acceptable with back-to back houses), and that there are no windows on the side facing the nearest residents.


In response to a concern raised by the public speaker, it was noted that there is no proposal for floodlights in this application. Any subsequent request for floodlighting would be separately assessed. 


Steve King, Planning Applications Team Leader noted that the proposed building was in keeping with a typical building in a public park and reiterated that there are no windows on the south facing elevation. With regards to potential noise concerns he confirmed that the Council has control over what activities can take place from a land owners’ perspective, as well as the conditions contained in the application. 


The Chairman moved to the officer recommendation to approve the application in which was proposed by Councillor Pulfer and seconded by Councillor MacNaughton.  A recorded vote was carried out by the Legal Officer and the application was unanimously approved.






R Cartwright




J. Dabell




A. MacNaughton




G. Marsh




C. Phillips




M. Pulfer




D. Sweatman







That planning permission is approved subject to the conditions outlined at Appendix A.


Supporting documents: