A LEISURE centre has applied for permission to install three new padel (CORR) courts to respond to the “growing popularity” of the sport.

West Hants Club in Roslin Road South, Bournemouth, has applied to planning officials to remove the exiting padel court and replace it with a tennis court, remove the western spectator stand, and install three new padel courts with screens, acoustic fencing and pole mounted floodlights.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said: “The aim of the proposal is to increase the padel court provision of the club in response to the growing popularity of the sport whilst mitigating the impacts of noise on the neighbouring residents.

“Padel is a cross between tennis and squash and is an accessible, highly social and physically rewarding game.

“Its popularity sees the existing court at West Hants in very high demand and is seen by the club as representing a fantastic opportunity increase participation in sport.

“The proposal does not represent a significant alteration to the layout of the club.

“The three new padel courts will be placed on the location of the ‘centre court’ with the removal of one of the three spectator stands.

“The centre court is now rarely used, its condition is deteriorating and permission has previously been granted for its removal. The existing padel court will be removed and returned to a tennis court.”

Developers said it “made good sense” to place the three padel courts together which would mean the noise “can be most effectively mitigated”.

The padel courts measure 10 by 20metres with surrounding enclosures at four metres high.

The statement added: “The padel court enclosures would be in dark green coloured steel mesh with clear safety glass at each end.

“The courts would be largely hidden from public view by the stands and the four-metre acoustic fence. The acoustic fence would be timber and it is anticipated would be left with a natural finish.

“It is considered that there are no material considerations which would count against the proposal.

“The proposal would however provide benefits including a greater contribution the site makes towards the active health of the local community.”