Padel tennis is a sport derived from lawn tennis and has been played globally since the 1960s; it provides an exciting twist on traditional tennis and is popular in southern Spain and along the Mediterranean and is growing in popularity here, The name refers to the paddles that players use during play. Padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court a third the size of a tennis court. Scoring is similar to traditional tennis and the ball is similar but with a little less pressure. The main difference is that the court has a surrounding enclosure that the ball can be played off, in a similar way as in the game of squash. Courts can be open or enclosed.
Traditional tennis has been played at the Solihull Arden site since 1920 and the Club has always had a strong membership base but is aware that it needs to evolve to ensure its continued success and future sustainability. As the Club goes into its centenary year, it is hoped the padel proposal will generate interest in tennis and racket sports at the site.
The proposal is for 4 padel tennis courts (2 of which are enclosed), a touch tennis court, floodlighting and additional car parking.
The approval follows a number of previous historical applications withdrawn by the Club.
In preparing our advice and report, we worked closely with the Club and planning consultant utilising guidance documents relating to noise from a planning perspective and Sport England.
A degree of local objection led to this matter being heard at Planning Committee despite strong officer recommendation for approval.
Sharps Redmore were present at the Planning Committee meeting, prepared to field technical questions arising from local objections and those of the Committee members. The Committee were advised that the Club had taken all objection comments seriously, instructing consultants to deal with the matters raised and is investing heavily in the padel proposal and wish it to be a great success with considerable community engagement.
The application was unanimously approved by the Committee on 2nd October 2019.