Temple Fortune tennis club plans unanimously rejected by Barnet Council
PUBLISHED: 12:44 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 29 August 2019
The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet's Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.
Campaigners had lobbied councillors to vote down the plans in the run up to the meeting, citing disruption to the street scene, loss of green space, and worries over the developers' plans for the site in the future.
The site was sold by the tennis club's membership to London NW Properties and Templars Properties, who said they were now considering their options.
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.
Cllr Rohit Grover, who lives opposite the old club told the Ham&High: "What this shows is their argument doesn't stand up. The committee recognised there's a demand for this in the neighbourhood, people do want to play tennis and these are still top notch facilities.
"Going forward we need to work with our local councillors to re-establish the club as an Asset of Community Value."
Pam Green, who lives next to the tennis courts and spoke at the meeting, told this newspaper: "I'm just elated. When you go to a meeting like that you don't know what'll happen, or how the councillors will react."
Former club member Rebecca Boye said: "We are all delighted with the outcome!"
At the meeting the councillors rejected the proposal over the the loss of the tennis club as an amenity. The plans would have seen half of the site retained as a communal sports area with houses built on the other half.
However, neighbours were concerned there would be further applications to develop the site if this had been approved. The developer has always denied it plans to do this.
It had also proposed a payment of £75,000 towards the upkeep of local public tennis courts in Princes Park and Lyttleton Playing Fields, a mile away from the old Templars club.
A spokesperson for the developer said: "We are disappointed by the committee's decision to refuse the application, contrary to their professional officers' recommendation.
"We feel that the committee did not fully grasp the opportunity that this development creates."