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It must be game, set and match

PUBLISHED: 12:13 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 08 September 2018

The Heigham Park grass tennis courts which the city council are proposing to turn into all weather courts. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Heigham Park grass tennis courts which the city council are proposing to turn into all weather courts. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Norwich City Council should accept that the game is over and withdraw its planning application for three all-weather courts in place of grass tennis at Heigham Park re “Wording blunder means Norwich tennis courts consultation is extended” (EN, August 31).

Heigham Park is on the national register of parks and gardens of special interest. Hard surface courts, caged in weldmesh fencing with floodlights, are inappropriate for this charming 1920s arts and crafts park.

The Gardens Trust, statutory consultee for parks and gardens, says it cannot support the council’s proposal because it would impact so negatively upon the original design by Captain Sandys Winsch.

An independent heritage consultant commissioned by the city council describes the loss of Norwich’s last public grass lawn tennis courts as ‘lamentable’ in her report accompanying the plans.
The council’s application is, in my view, contrary to national policy guidance on conserving heritage assets and unlikely to succeed.
There is a solution. The council should work with the Heigham Park Grass Tennis Group, a community group formed to take on the maintenance and running of four grass court. They have put forward a business plan, but so far, the council has dug in its heels.

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