Almost 100-year-old Harrogate sports club to get upgrades

North Yorkshire Council has approved plans by Harrogate Racquets Club to resurface its tennis courts and install new LED floodlights.

The members club on Firs Road was founded in 1924 on the same site and as it approaches its centenery next year, there will be a major upgrade of the facility which offers a place to play tennis, table tennis and badminton.

It includes four tennis courts with artificial grass but planning documents state they have been in use for 14 years and are wearing out.

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The foundations under the courts have also “deteriorated significantly” and the fencing needs replacing.

Harrogate Racquets ClubHarrogate Racquets Club
Harrogate Racquets Club

Three of the four courts are floodlit but the lights were installed more than 20 years ago.

The plans will see the structure under the courts reinforced, the surface of the courts replaced with new state-of-the-art artififical grass, new fencing installed and floodlights on courts 1-3.

Plans submitted by St Aidan’s CE High School in 2020 to install new floodlights on its sports pitches proved to be controversial due to the potential for light pollution on neighbouring proprties.

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Harrogate Racquets Club said it sought expert advice and believes the new lighting will reduce the flare currently emanating from the courts and will meet guidance on obstrusive light.

The club sent letters to neighbouring properties and received six responses where no concerns were raised about the plans.

The club has outreach programmes with local schools including Oatlands Primary and Junior schools, Harrogate Ladies College and Pannal Primary School.

It also runs coaching programmes with over 200 children participating in the weekly programmes across all three sports during term times as well as easter and summer camps.

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It’s situated in a residential cul-de-sac off Leeds Road on the south side of Harrogate, opposite the Oatlands Marks & Spencer supermarket.

The facilities are open every day of the week between 8am and 10pm.

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