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Withdean's indoor tennis court could be turned into a climbing wall
Parents have complained there will be no more Andy Murrays if plans to remove an indoor tennis court go ahead.
The all-weather court will make way for a climbing wall under the proposals for Withdean Sports Complex.
However, inadequate consultation and a lack of indoor tennis provision have been highlighted by critics of the plan.
Carol Major, whose children use the courts, said: “Many users of the courts were totally unaware a consultation was in place as it was insufficiently publicised.
“These are the only indoor courts in Brighton available to those that cannot afford private clubs. Around 300 children attend classes and tennis camps there.
“Given that Withdean is being extensively renovated, why is no space being made to develop alternative indoor tennis facilities on the site – or elsewhere in Brighton?”
Mike Jarman, whose 12-year-old son plays tennis, said: “Previously the courts were protected but the future of all three courts is no longer guaranteed.
“There are between 250 and 300 children attending tennis classes at the centre and during the wet winters there will not be enough spaces for all.
“This year a British player has won Wimbledon for the first time in decades. This is not something that is likely to happen again if this sort of thing is allowed to happen.”
Matt Hunt, group operations manager at Freedom Leisure, which runs the centre for the council, said: “We feel happy that we are providing ample space for indoor tennis and our climbing wall will bring new and exciting opportunities to the area.
“We surveyed our existing users at the centre and found two to one in favour of the conversion.
“All our children’s tennis lessons will be unaffected by the loss of one court and adult players accept that the three courts were not fully used.
“Our figures suggest we will increase attendance from 7,000 people for the tennis court to over 50,000 with the climbing wall.”
The councils’ Economic Development and Culture Committee will make a decision on Thursday.
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