10:32 am January 12, 2022
The project to replace sports facilities at a park in St Albans finally received the green light almost two years after the courts were closed.
New tennis and netball courts will be built alongside Abbey View Golf and Track, two years after the old courts were converted into a children’s playground.
The St Albans District Council Cabinet approved the court replacement project in December 2020, with a building permit finally granted on January 10.
The new facilities will be built between the athletics track and the parking lot, on land currently unused in Verulamium Park.
Cllr Chris Davies, who chaired the committee, said the loss of the original tennis courts was a “great loss” to his constituents, adding “it’s great to see this start come true.”
The work will not affect trees already in place in the park, nor will it affect the trails crossing the park for dog walkers.
District council conservation officers noted that Verulamium Park is an “extremely sensitive site” in terms of heritage assets, but said the project was considered acceptable as long as there were additional plantings to filter out. courts.
A condition to limit the use of 8m high floodlights until 10 p.m. on weekends and 8 p.m. on weekends has also been included.
Council officials agreed that the “less than substantial damage” to the conservation area was outweighed by the benefits of the program, including making the sport more accessible to the community.
Cllr Liz Needham raised concerns about the risk of flooding in the park, but officers reassured committee members that “robust” conditions had been put in place to mitigate the risks.
A condition on the building permit will also require that work to remove a hedge to make room for the courts be done outside of nesting season, or after a search has been carried out to ensure that no damage is caused to wildlife.
Officers recommended the project for approval, with planning committee advisers unanimously supporting the plans at Monday’s meeting.