TWO tennis courts in Bournemouth’s Central Gardens could pave the way for the introduction of padel tennis, an emerging sport on the site.
West Hants Tennis Club failed in its bid to introduce three new padel courts to its Roslin Road South site earlier this year.
BCP Council planners turned down the program because of the “unacceptable noise impacts” of the new courts.
The application for the Talbot Woods site has drawn dozens of objections, with one resident fearing “noise like gunfire” is coming from the courts.
West Hants have now returned with a plan to bring padel, which is a cross between tennis and the team, to Central Gardens.
A design and access statement submitted in support of the new application stated: “The proposal is to exchange two tennis courts for two padel courts.
“The current configuration of eight tennis courts is struggling to remain viable, the introduction of two padel courts will greatly improve the prospect that the courts will continue to be a valuable asset to the conurbation.
“The introduction of a court at West Hants Tennis Club has proven to be a success. However, the noise generated by the installation limited the possibilities for expansion in West Hants.
An acoustic report commissioned by the claimant found that the current background noise from Bourne Valley Road and Wessex Way would ‘effectively mask’ the noise produced by a padel match.
Padel was invented in Mexico in 1968 and is considered one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with more than 20 million players worldwide, according to the statement.
He said there are currently 155 padel courts in Britain and the national governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association, plans to reach 400 courts in the near future.
The claimants describe padel as “similar to tennis but played in an enclosed court with glass walls at both ends of which the ball can be played”. The side walls are made of wire mesh.
The BCP Council’s Planning Department is currently evaluating the application, with public consultation through October 21.