Globe Tennis Club fears Camden Council wants to turn Belsize Park site into housing

The Globe is a popular tennis club for locals in Belsize Park and Camden

The Globe is a popular tennis club for locals in Belsize Park and Camden - Credit: Archant

A Belsize Park tennis club says it fears its days are numbered as it believes Camden Council has earmarked the site for housing development.

Globe Tennis Club on Haverstock Hill is currently negotiating a new lease with the council, the former decades-long lease having expired in January last year. But a major bone of contention is the Council’s insistence on including a three-year break clause that would allow the site to be reclaimed for development.

“We want this club to remain open for locals and children from nearby state schools. My own children have played there, and it’s one of the best and cheapest tennis courts around,” local campaigner and Hampstead resident Jessica Learmond-Criqui told the Ham&High.

Now a campaign and a petition have been launched to try to persuade the Council to drop the redevelopment break clause from the new lease ahead of a court date next month that is, campaigners think, likely to prove favourable to the Council’s position.

“What we need from the Council is not this 15-year lease, but a 15-year lease without any break clause,” said Globe committee member Howard Lock, speaking to the Ham&High.

He pointed out that the club would be unable to obtain funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) if the lease included a break clause.

“Courts are very expensive to maintain” he added. “This is an existential issue.”

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An open day, with a focus on young players, is to be held between 11.30 am and 3 pm, on Friday at the club.

We are committed to encouraging sport and outside activity in Camden,” said Councillor Phil Jones, Camden Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport. “It is normal practice to include a break clause in leases with voluntary groups who use council-owned land, and the tennis club is no different.

“Camden Council has supported Globe Lawn Tennis Club for a number of years with very reasonable rents and we’re happy to continue to doing so under this new arrangement.

“As with any other property or land owned by the taxpayer and used for sport or community purposes, any future plans would be discussed fully with the club and the community.”