A Norfolk farm is to become a centre for one of the world's fastest-growing sports despite a push for it to be blocked.

Land at Waterhouse Farm in East Barsham is to be turned into a Padel court complex - a hybrid of squash and tennis that originated in Mexico.

The facility, run by Norfolk Padel, will include two indoor courts, one outdoor court, changing rooms and social areas that includes a golf simulator.

Eastern Daily Press: Padel is one of the fastest growing sports in the worldPadel is one of the fastest growing sports in the world (Image: CHARLOTTE BOND)

The plans gained widespread support, including from the parish council and nearby schools, who hoped to visit the site.

But officers at North Norfolk District Council recommended it was rejected due to it being a development in a countryside area and access issues - travelling by road would be the only way to get there.

However, at a development committee meeting, councillors took a different view and decided to support Norfolk Padel's vision for the site.

Eastern Daily Press: Tom Fitzpatrick, councillor for the Walsingham ward, which includes BarshamTom Fitzpatrick, councillor for the Walsingham ward, which includes Barsham (Image: NNDC)

Tom Fitzpatrick, a Conservative councillor who represents Barsham, said: "Family farms need to diversify if they are going to survive. We need ways for young people to get exercise in a safe environment."

Tim Adams, leader of the council, also supported the project and said it would help boost sports provision in the district.

When it came to the vote, 11 councillors supported it, while one voted against and another abstained.

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Following the result, Nick Newbury, director of Norfolk Padel said: "Padel tennis is a sport which is incredibly easy to learn. This sense of inclusivity is what has driven the sport’s popularity worldwide.

"We are committed to creating an environment where everyone in the community feels welcome."

Waterhouse Farm is not the only farm that is diversifying into Padel. At Salle Moor Hall Farm, near Reepham, plans are also afoot to open three courts at the site.

Courts can also be found in Diss and Norwich and there are hopes it may become an Olympic sport and could make its debut in Brisbane in 2032.