Sport

Tennis courts in five Haringey parks to be renovated – and remain free

Courts at Chapmans Green, Chestnuts Park, Downhills Park, Priory Park and Stationers Park will be renovated but concerns are being raised over locked gates, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Tennis courts
credit Enfield Council

Tennis courts in Haringey will remain free to use following a major refurbishment plan, the council has confirmed.

Courts at Chapmans Green, Chestnuts Park, Downhills Park, Priory Park and Stationers Park are set to be renovated and have new gate-access technology installed thanks to almost £447,000 of investment from the government, Haringey Council and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Residents will need to book to use the refurbished courts via the LTA website and will be given an access code to open the gates, but the council says it does not plan to apply charges.

Plans to install gate access technology – which according to the LTA is designed to ensure people can turn up knowing a court is available for them to use – have been criticised by the council’s Liberal Democrat opposition group.

Alessandra Rossetti, the Lib Dem opposition spokesperson for parks,  welcomed the extra investment but urged the council to reconsider the introduction of locked gates, saying it “is totally unnecessary and will lead to the exclusion of residents who do not have the ability or awareness to book courts in advance”.

In response, the council said the gates would “ensure that the courts are used for their intended purpose” and provide “equitable access to the sites during busy times”, adding that the “vast majority” of respondents to a consultation with park users and community groups reacted positively to the proposals.

The renovations are part of a £30.5million national scheme to refurbish public tennis courts across the country, with the aim of encouraging more people to get involved in the sport.

In Haringey, £121,894 will be invested by the council on top of £324,888 from the government and LTA.

The council and its coaching provider, Georgians Tennis in the Parks, will work with the LTA to deliver a range of activity across the park sites, including weekly free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience, with equipment provided.

Work on the five sites is expected to be completed this year.

Emily Arkell, Haringey’s cabinet member for culture, communities and leisure, said: “We are delighted to be working together with the LTA to make this significant investment in our borough’s public tennis courts.

“We know how important it is for our residents to have access to high-quality sports facilities right here in our borough, including in our parks and green spaces.

“This is another great example of how we are working together with partners to invest in our parks to ensure that they provide a wide range of recreational and sporting opportunities for all residents.”

Tennis players can use the LTA website to book a court:
Visit
https://www.lta.org.uk/play/book-a-tennis-court/


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