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Green light for Ilkley Tennis Club’s expansion
A major expansion of Ilkley Tennis Club, which members say will ensure its future over the next 20 years, will go ahead after netting planning permission from Bradford Council.
Yesterday councillors approved the plans, that will see new all-weather courts, indoor courts, extra parking spaces and improved gym facilities.
But the application did not pass without objections – Ilkley residents living near the site spoke at the meeting, claiming the expansion would cause dangerous levels of traffic.
The application that went before Bradford Council’s Keighley Area Planning Committee yesterday had already been altered from the club’s original vision - with a planned overspill car park dropped and a new public walkway to the site included.
But objectors were still concerned that it would lead to more cars driven to and from the club down the unadopted road that serves as its access. Protest group Protect Our Ilkley Scenic Environment feel this would create dangerous conditions on the A65 Skipton Road.
Planning officers had recommended the plans for approval, and said a traffic survey submitted by the club showed that the increase in traffic would be acceptable.
Richard Bell, chairman of Poise, spoke at the meeting, saying: “We are not against the tennis club, but we don’t think these plans provide safety for road users. There are no adequate traffic surveys.
“There haven’t been any accidents on this junction, but no accidents doesn’t mean it’s safe. These plans will increase traffic and increase pollution. There are significant unresolved issues.”
He asked for the plans to be deferred until there was more evidence the proposals wouldn’t make the roads unsafe.
Committee members also raised concerns about the extra traffic the club would generate, estimated at 300 cars a day, but highways officers pointed out that apart from morning and late afternoon peaks, this would be spread over the whole day, and amount to one extra car every three minutes.
Richard Bourdon, chairman of the club, told the committee they had 1,600 members and around 400 young people involved in various programmers.
He added: “We’re trying to build a sustainable club over the long term. We would like to believe this plan will sustain the club for the next 20 years.”
On claims the expansion would cause dangerous traffic levels on the A65, he said: “Those issues exist today and have existed for some time. Without this expansion the club will still be there, we will still try to grow and the roads won’t improve. With this application there will be improvements.”
The committee unanimously voted to approve the plans, including a condition that the club work on ways of preventing people parking on the new pedestrian pathway.
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