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Future of grass tennis courts in Heigham Park to be discussed at public meeting

PUBLISHED: 16:46 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 26 July 2018

The tennis courts at Heigham Park are locked up. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

The tennis courts at Heigham Park are locked up. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Archant

Campaigners hoping to rescue the last remaining grass tennis courts in Norwich have called a public meeting to discuss saving them.

Flashback photograph to when the tennis courts were in use. Photo: Bill SmithFlashback photograph to when the tennis courts were in use. Photo: Bill Smith

The 10 courts in Heigham Park, off Recreation Road, have been closed since last summer, after plans were unveiled to replace them with three all-weather courts,

Norwich City Council abandoned the scheme after receiving around 60 objections from the public, but left the courts under lock and key.

However, with the scheme now resurrected, campaigners are calling a public meeting in the hope of salvaging some of the courts as grass.

A group called the Heigham Park Grass Courts Group has been formed, which wants to take on the running and maintenance of the course.

The group has prepared a business case for its vision and is hosting a public meeting next week for those wishing to express views about the city council’s proposals,

Gavin McFarlane, the group’s secretary, said: “Grass court tennis has been played in Heigham Park for the best part of 100 years and all we want to do is maintain that option for people.

“We are not fighting against hard court tennis whatsoever, but there are several other places to do that in the city. Without Heigham Park there will be no grass court provisions left in the area at all.”

Simon Meek, the council’s parks and open spaces manager, had previously said the council had made a decision not to transfer the courts as an asset to the community group, however Peter Cutting, the group’s chairman, said this was not their goal anyway.

He said: “There seems to be a misconception about our intentions.

“We simply want to take on maintenance of the courts, which we will fund, without transferring assets.”

The group now hopes anyone who shares its desire will join them at the meeting to learn more about their proposals and lend the campaign their support.

Mr McFarlane said: “We are hoping that through debate and discussion we can change the city’s views on the matter.”

The meeting will be held at St Peter’s Jessopp Road Church from 7.30pm on Thursday, August 2.

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