PERMISSION has been given for an apartment block on an old tennis court at a Glasgow West End sports club.
Councillors on the city’s planning applications committee voted 5:4 in favour of the proposal by Kelvindale Bowling and Lawn Tennis Club and Abercromby Homes.
Planning officials had recommended refusal. Their report stated: “By reason of its location, scale, massing, design and comparative ground level, the proposed flatted block would appear as a bulky and incongruously large building in comparison to the surrounding residential scale to the detriment of the character and amenity of the surrounding area.”
Twelve flats will be built at the site in Baronald Drive. New tennis courts — two full-size and one mini court — will be provided on scrubland at the northern end of the site. The clubhouse will be extended and improved.
Since submission of the initial application, the development has been reduced from four to three storeys and the number of flats reduced from 16.
The residential building will front Kelvindale Road There will be nine two-bedroom flats, two with three bedrooms and one with one bedroom.
A statement from the club, submitted with the application, explained: “Our planned investment in the club centres around both urgent repairs and maintenance and creating brand new tennis facilities and a refurbished clubhouse to not only sustain the current members, but importantly attract new members and further investment back into the club.
“The club is not doing this to generate a profit but to continue a well-used community facility which has been financially drained over many years due to the declining membership and increasing costs of repairs and maintenance.
“All the funds received will be invested back into the club to ensure future generations benefit. There is a very real danger that if this proposal is not approved, the entire club will find itself in the position in the short-medium term where it cannot sustain the facility and clubhouse, even as a single bowling green, and may have to close.”
A design document by architects Holmes Miller stated: “The finance for the development of the whole club site is sourced by selling the old tennis courts site for residential development.”
It continued: “The clubhouse facility is tired and in need of upgrade and modernisation. An extension to the front is proposed to create an open contemporary café environment and increase space for the main function room in order that the function suite will be a more attractive venue for hire. In turn this will improve the sustainability of the club.
“A new entrance vestibule is to be formed within this extended west elevation, realigning this access point and linking subsequent rooms. This allows a number of facilities to function independently which further reinforces the multi-functional aspect and draw the club has to offer.
“The existing tennis courts are too small to play club matches and they are surfaced with red ash which is not an acceptable modern play surface.
“Replacing the courts with new facilities on their current location within the site would not be possible due to the necessary size requirements of the new courts and the width of this part of the site.
“In addition, the ground to the north of the club land is poor quality scrubland which is not included in the Open Space designation map.
“Locating the new court in this location will position it close to the clubhouse and site entrance, creating a welcoming environment around the clubhouse.”