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Hurstpierpoint Tennis club faces loss of £25,000 lights cash
3:00pm Monday 12th August 2013 in News
A tennis club that secured a £25,000 grant to install floodlights faces having its funding pulled as it struggles to get planning permission.
Hurstpierpoint Tennis Club was awarded the grant by Sport England, but Mid Sussex District Council’s opposition to the floodlights may mean it loses the money.
The money was made available by the Olympic and Paralympics legacy programme and the club is one of 300 sports clubs which looked set to benefit from the fourth round of the Inspired Facilities fund.
Club chairman Alan Bedford said: “This very significant funding for the village is a wonderful offer.
“We are told we got an award amid tough competition because Sport England could see the difference the enhanced facilities would make for many people.
“It would be so disappointing if we had to turn this investment away.
“When we do reapply for planning consent we hope that local people will say clearly that they want sporting facilities in the village to be enhanced.”
InMay this year, despite the strong support of the Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council and large numbers of local people, Mid Sussex District Council narrowly voted against planning permission.
The club is mounting another challenge as it re-applies for planning permission this year.
John Wilkinson, chairman of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council, said: “The parish council supports the club’s aim to have floodlights and bring sports facilities in the village to 21st century levels to benefit local people.
“If the Sport England grant can be accepted this will be a fitting Olympic legacy in Hurstpierpoint.”
Colin Trumble, a Hurstpierpoint ward councillor on the Mid Sussex District Council, was also pleased with the award.
He said: “It is good news that Sport England would like to make a major contribution to the cost of expanding the tennis facilities in Hurstpierpoint.
“I understand the club will be making a further planning application and of course, the possible grant from Sport England will give added impetus to this.”
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