Future of the London Open thrown into doubt after Council blocks plans to erect new squash courts at host venue
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter
Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club are fighting for the right to build two new squash courts, after the Camden London Borough Council rejected their plans due to a ‘lack of demand’ for the sport.
The West Hampstead club, which hosted the Coronation London Open in December, currently fail to meet tournament specifications due to cross-beams affecting height restrictions; thereby making new upgrades a matter of urgency.
But while a proposal was put forward in 2012 to extend its clubhouse and build two new squash courts being built, the Council rejected their plans after claiming that they failed to justify a demand for the two courts.
The club’s architects have since launched an appeal against the rejection:
“The Council’s reason for refusal contends that there is an ‘absence of adequate evidence’ to demonstrate a need for the new squash courts. This assertion is unfounded.”
Members have also added their support to the clubs campaign and have sent 70 emails expressing their frustrations in securing a booking on one of four existing courts.
An overwhelming majority of Councillors on the Town Hall’s planning committee voted against the scheme but a planning inspector will now assess the latest appeal and rule on the outcome in the next few weeks.
Source: Camden New Journal