Tennis club seals deal for £1.5m new base

First published in News

IT’S “game, set and match” for Holcombe Brook Tennis Club which has ended 12 years of uncertainty by purchasing the land for its new £1.5 million home.

When the development at Hazel Hall Lane is up and running next year, it will embrace eight tennis courts, six of which will be floodlit, a clubhouse with parking for 76 cars, a mini-tennis area and a practise wall.

The new base will be half a mile away from its existing premises in Longsight Road, which will be demolished to allow McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles to build 55 flats for the over-60s. Cash from the sale of the land is paying for the new centre.

After 12 years of planning and legal wrangles, Holcombe Brook Tennis Club’s plans to relocate were given the go-ahead by Bury Council in 2011.

Originally the club, which was formed in 1926, had applied to move to Hazel Hall Lane, but their application was rejected. Later, the organisation made a bid to relocate to Summerseat Lane but was met with a volley of objections and complaints.

Eventually, the Hazel Hall Lane site came under consideration again and the plans were ultimately approved.

Work on the new development is set to get under way in the spring with the completion targeted for the start of the 2014 season.

Club spokesman Alan Lord said: “We’ve had our present building since 1926 and it’s basically a modified wooden hut built on a brick foundation. It’s far too small and we don’t actually have the room to pull it down and rebuild.”

The prospect of a brand new home is a triumph for club chairman, Tony Lawson. He said: “We will have facilities fit for the standard of tennis that is played here.

“We have been successful at both local and national levels for many years. At times it has been embarrassing to entertain clubs that are used to modern standards.”

Mr Lawson’s wife, club head coach Suzanne, added: “It is great to think that we will have only one more year at the old place before we can move forward with modern coaching facilities.”

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