Trinity College’s planned tennis courts anger conservationists

Gerald Wu - News Reporter 26 April 2013

Trinity College’s plan to build a new tennis club at Grantchester Road, next to the Cambridge Rugby Club, has caused environmental and traffic concerns among residents.

The college’s request to construct 12 courts, two of which would be floodlit, as well as a pavilion has been recommended for approval. Trinity’s current Cock and Hens Tennis Club is being forced to move out of its home in Clerk Maxwell Road for housing purposes.

Nearly 60 objections have been raised about the choice of location for the new courts. Among residents’ concerns are the impact of floodlighting, the increase in traffic and the possible increase in flooding risks. The green belt between Grantchester and Cambridge has been described by Councillor Sian Reid, who represents Newnham, as “sensitive”.

Speaking to The Cambridge Student, Councillor Reid said: “My objectives have been to ensure that residents have a full opportunity to have a say in these proposals, that these issues and any others raised by residents are fully and professionally examined, and to make sure that this decision is taken in public by the South Cambridgeshire planning committee with a full report analysing the proposals.”

She continued: “Newnham residents living nearby and Newnham councillors had not originally been notified by Trinity College or South Cambridgeshire about the scheme.”

However Rory Landman, Trinity College’s senior bursar, argued: “The concerns that people have can be mitigated. For example, the floodlighting will be subsumed by what is given out by the Rugby Club, and some sort of speed limitation will be introduced along the road.”

Councillor for Barton, Cambridgeshire, Francis Burkitt, said the proposal “is a central part of our philosophy to have sporting facilities and playing fields on a modest scale”.

Cambridge University tennis captain and Trinity College post-graduate Sven Sylvester shares the view of Councillor Burkitt: “It is unclear what access the university and Trinity College tennis clubs will have to the courts. However, given the current popularity of tennis, the development of a new tennis centre can only be a positive for the community.”

Gerald Wu – News Reporter