Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
University of York seeks to protect tennis courts with inflatable dome
YORK could get its first indoor tennis centre under plans to place an inflatable dome over courts at one of the city’s universities.
The proposals would see a temporary cover put up over the courts at the University of York ’s campus in an attempt to boost their use, due to bad weather leaving them severely underused for much of the year.
A planning application has been submitted to City of York Council , which is expected to make a decision in December.
Agents acting for the university say the dome would remain in place for up to five years.
In that time the university plans to assess whether the courts become more “financially viable” and if funding for a permanent cover could be secured.
In a statement sent to the authority, O’Neill Associates said the uncovered state of the three courts meant they were not used enough for most of the academic year, and the inflatable “roof” could lead to their use at least doubling.
The report said: “The proposals will facilitate guaranteed operation of the tennis courts throughout the year and allow the university to substantially increase their usage and improve the level of sports provision it offers to current and prospective students and the local community.
“The university is developing a tennis development strategy based on provision of the indoor courts, which will provide a range of programmes to increase participation in competitive and recreational tennis, including giving local clubs the opportunity to block-book the courts to continue their activities during the winter months.”
O’Neill Associates said the scheme was backed by the Lawn Tennis Association and York council’s sports and active leisure team, and that a lack of sporting facilities in York which can be used all year round had already been identified by the local authority.
The company said tennis lovers who wanted to play indoors currently had to subscribe to fitness and leisure clubs.
The courts – which were resurfaced last year at a cost of £130,000 – are next to the sports hall on the university’s Heslington West campus, which was originally built in 2005 as a temporary facility for a five-year period. The council agreed to extend its use to 2016 two years ago, and the planning report said a “vast increase” in indoor sporting activities had allowed the university to allocate funding to make it a permanent building.