Council refuses to publish Belsize’s Globe Tennis Club site survey
PUBLISHED: 11:45 05 October 2017
The future of the Globe Tennis Club is still uncertain after the Lawn Tennis Association has confirmed that its funding is under threat.
This comes as supporters of the club, off Haverstock Hill, have had a Freedom of Information (FOI) request into a feasibility study Camden Council undertook into the Globe site rejected.
Club members believe the study into the future use of the land will confirm suspicions that the council intends to use it for a housing development.
The council refused the FOI request on the grounds that if the results of the feasibility study were to be published, the information could be used by bidders in any future development projects.
The tennis club’s decades-long lease expired in January 2016.
It wants to sign a new 15-year lease, but Camden Council is insisting on a break clause.
But the club says it needs a 15 year lease to guarantee future funding.
LTA president Martin Corrie confirmed this when he wrote to Camden Council for the second time on September 22 to re-iterate that without a 15-year lease with no break clause it “would not be possible for the LTA to fund the club.”
At a full council meeting on September 11, a petition with 2,000 signatures to keep the club on the site was presented to councillors.
Globe committee member Howard Lock said the row was having a negative effect on the tennis club.
He said: “It’s a distraction from our priority which is kids. There has been a 60 per cent drop in children playing tennis at the club since the petition.
“We are already having to do running repairs to courts, and if we aren’t able to secure the funding we may be reduced down to two courts.”
However in response to the LTA letter, a council spokesman said: “It is our policy for all leases to voluntary organisation partners to include break provisions and we have to be consistent and fair in ensuring the same for the tennis club. The Council has been discussing this with the club for some time and has provided flexibility to help the club, by offering a 15-year lease with a break provision at the seventh year. We feel this is a workable compromise.”
He said the study was normal practice. “We have to continually review the use and development potential for all of our assets.”