CONCERNS have been raised about balls hitting cars and “noise like gunfire” as plans to install three new padel courts at a Bournemouth tennis club have been described as “inappropriate”.
The West Hants Club in Roslin Road South has applied for permission to remove the exiting padel court and replace it with a tennis court, remove the western spectator stand, and install three new padel courts with screens, acoustic fencing and pole mounted floodlights.
However, the Talbot Woods and Branksome Residents Association has moved to object the plans, three years after campaigning against a similar application, raising concerns about noise pollution and flying balls.
Michael Pusey, of the group, said: “We’ve said we are not against padel per se, but are against the way the plans have come together.”
The plans state the new padel courts would be placed on the location of the existing ‘centre court’ for tennis. The courts would be surrounded by a four-metre high acoustic fence.
“We have not got a problem with the lawn tennis club courts. The game of padel is very, very different,” Mr Pusey continued.
“Padel is a smaller court, it’s played with a hard bat not a string bat and a hard ball which you hit against the sides.
“You have got a very high level of percussion from ball to bat and the ball hitting the sides.
“The other thing is padel is a much more social activity. You have got high decibels of people shouting.”
Mr Pusey said tennis balls sometimes fly over into gardens of houses backing onto the courts and on to Elgin Road.
He added: “We are going to have balls, not soft tennis balls, that will hit the road. They could hit a windscreen, it’s not a great situation.
“This is a private members club and it’s just the wrong place.”
An objection lodged on the BCP Council planning portal by a resident neighbouring West Hants said: “The one existing padel court is noticeably louder than any of the existing courts. The noise of the ball on the racket or on the glass surround can be like gunfire. Simply put that existing court already spoils my enjoyment of my back garden.
“Additionally on many occasions that I have walked past the courts I have heard the players shouting and swearing. I believe that if these padel tennis courts were to go ahead they would massively detract from the area and make a mockery of the conservation area.”
Another resident said: “One padel court has caused enough disturbance to neighbours of the club, multiply that by three and have up to 12 people playing at any one time would be unbearable.
“We fail to see how a four-metre high acoustic fence will reduce the noise level to that of the existing single court.
“We have picked up numerous balls in Elgin road which have originated from the padel court, it is only a matter of time when one distracts a learner driver and an accident occurs.”