A BARRAGE of support has helped to bolster plans for a new-look tennis centre in Kingsley.
Extra letters backing the scheme have been sent to planning officers, and councillors who were due to discuss the application last night (Thursday) were being urged to give the centre their full backing.
As previously reported by The Herald, the Kingsley Tennis Centre was seeking permission to demolish the existing dome and replace it with a new complex.
The wood and metal clad building, measuring 60 metres by 36.5 metres, would encompass the four indoor courts with the two existing outdoor clay courts remaining.
On top of the letters received last month from the national and local branches of the lawn tennis association, club members and Greatham Primary School, extra letters have also sent from Wooty Junior School and an extra 16 club members, their parents and members of the public.
This took the total number of letters of support up to 35. An extra letter commenting on the plans was been sent.
But Kingsley Parish Council expressed some concerns and objected to the application.
It said that the dome was always a temporary structure and that a permanent large building could pave the way in future years for it to be changed into an industrial use.
But in his report to the north planning committee, which had the final say over the plans, case officer Keith Oliver pointed out that there was strong evidence to back the applicant's assurances that the building would only be used as a tennis centre in the future.
"The applicant has confirmed that he has a 120-year lease of which 15 years has expired," Mr Oliver's report said.
"The lease indicates that the use of the land is for the purpose of a tennis centre only and prohibits any other use."
The officer, who urged members to grant planning permission for the new-look centre, also recommended tough conditions which prohibits the building from being used for any other purpose.
Last month the committee deferred a decision until last night's meeting so that they could go on a site visit and see the area for themselves.