The report was presented by the Principal Planning Officer, who gave an update to Members in that a total of 56 comments had been received in support of the application and Officers had received 31 objections to the application.
During questions from Members, it was enquired as to when the properties were first built and the history of the club. The Principal Planning Officer advised looking at planning history for the club the first application had been submitted in the early 1950s and some of the properties had already been built at this time.
The Principal Planning Officer further advised following queries from Members that the hours of usage for the lighting would be dependable on the amount of natural daylight, however within the winter months could be used as early as 4:00pm onwards and was limited to 9:00pm during the week and 8:00pm on a Saturday, and until 10pm on one day a week during the season to host home league matches.
It was highlighted there were no other tennis clubs within Thurrock which had floodlight facilities, although there was other sports facilities within the borough which had floodlights such as St Cleres Secondary School.
Speaker statements were heard from:
During the debate the Chair of the Committee stated he felt location of the Tennis Club was perhaps not ideal for a club which was growing that being said he felt any impact should the application be approved would be in the winter months to allow for later play.
Councillor Arnold stated he visited the site and as far as he could see there was no signage for the club within the area. He continued by saying he felt clubs of this nature should be supported and that with the right conditions to protect the area against future applications felt this application could be supported.
Councillor Piccolo commented he felt that any residents who had moved into the area or properties after the Tennis Club had been built would have been aware of the club and so it would only be perhaps the summer months which noise could be increased to a later time.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:58pm and reconvened at 8:05pm.
Councillor Kelly Chair of the Committee acknowledged five Members had hinted during the debate at approving the application.
The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection advised the Constitution was clear that an alternative recommendation would need to be put forward, which met with council policies.
Councillor Kelly then continued by putting forward the following reasons for approval, sporting, health benefits and good well-being significant weight, with the use of conditions there would be trackable control of the floodlights and with the resurfacing of the court there should be less noise coming from the club should they hold evening matches.
The Chair of the Committee proposed a recommendation to approve the application and was seconded by Councillor Liddiard.
For: (6) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Paul Arnold, Adam Carter, Steve Liddiard, Terry Piccolo and James Thandi
Against: (2) Georgette Polley (Vice-Chair) and Lee Watson
The Committee agreed to suspend standing orders at 8.17pm to allow the agenda to be completed.