Templars Tennis Club: Battle over plans for Temple Fortune courts continue as developer appeals planning rejection
PUBLISHED: 18:03 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:49 29 August 2019
The Templars Tennis Club in Temple Fortune is still threatened by redevelopment after the site's owners appealed against Barnet Council's rejection of the scheme.
The town hall's Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously blocked plans from owners London NW Properties and Templars Properties who want to build eight houses on the now-closed courts.
The tennis club's membership sold the club in April 2018 citing "a lack of support in the local community" but this has been disputed by former members who said it held a number of open days and leafleted unsuccessfully as late as 2016 in the hope of attracting new players.
Barnet councillor Rohit Glover (Con, Garden Suburb) lives next to the club and has been involved in community efforts top preserve it.
He told this newspaper: "This isn't a new application and it's an appeal on the same basis as was comprehensively rejected.
"We need to get to a place where the owner or the developer will reach out to the community so they can put forward a proposal that's supported by it.
"We have a group of residents looking at [how to get] the ACV protection and another looking at the appeals process.
Pam Green added: "We are meeting in order to work out how to best oppose the appeal. The council unanimously rejected this proposal so I think to appeal is pretty cynical."
Pam explained a group of neighbours were looking to have another go at establishing the club as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), after a 2016 attempt failed.
Local people claim it was made difficult to join the club with a view to its sale being eased, but this suggestion was called "contemptuous" by former members of the club's managing board, who added: "There was no other agenda."
Pam added to this newspaper: "It was made perfectly clear to the planning committee and they accepted the strength of community support for the club."
A spokesperson for the developers said: "We were disappointed by the committee's decision to refuse the application last year, contrary to their professional officers' recommendation to approve.
"The proposal would deliver much needed high quality family houses, with proceeds reinvested to create a high quality public sports facility.
"We feel that the committee did not fully grasp the opportunity that this development creates to establish an economically sustainable facility, with a variety of sports to be enjoyed."