Sandal tennis club granted permission for new floodlights following surge in public support
Plans to install new floodlights at a popular Wakefield tennis club have been approved, after a surge in public support.
Howard Copley applied for permission to install nine new floodlights at Sandal Lawn Tennis Club in May of this year, claiming that the additional lights would allow the use of two additional tennis courts into the evening.
Membership at the club has surged in recent years, and demand for evening sessions has increased, staff said in the application.
The plans were initially met with dismay by local residents, several of whom wrote in to object to the plans.
In a series of letters sent to Wakefield Council, neighbours said that the floodlights would be "unsightly and out of keeping in a residential area".
They also raised concerns that the additional light would be "detrimental" to local wildlife, and intrude on residents' privacy at night.
But the plans have now been approved, after a surge of support from locals and members of the club.
In a letter of support, one local resident said: "Many of the objectors have noted that the floodlights harm the local wildlife, or spoil the outlook from their gardens. Considering that there are already floodlights in place which are regularly used, I feel that these points are mostly moot.
"As a neighbour of the club myself, I can honestly say that the new floodlights that have been installed on courts 1-4 are very little nuisance. The old floodlights used to light up my living room but with the new directional ones I can no longer tell when they are in use.
"As I member of the club, I am able to see and take advantage of the physical and mental health benefits that tennis brings to our community. Considering all of this, I would say that the benefits of this scheme far outweigh the costs."
Writing in support of the plans, head coach Danny Burrell said: "Two extra floodlit courts provides an important opportunity for more access to tennis courts for members. Coaching is a particularly paramount means of introducing new players into the sport."
In total, 75 public comments were received, of which 70 were in support of the application and five in objection.
The plans have now been approved by Wakefield Council, and Sandal Lawn Tennis Club will be allowed to install nine new floodlights on courts five and six, for use between 8am and 10pm.