Bungalows agreed for tennis club site

Plans to build ten new bungalows on the derelict site of a former Wolverhampton tennis club have been given the go-ahead.

The site of the former Bilston Tennis Club on the corner of Villiers Avenue and Harper Road. Photo: Google Street View
The site of the former Bilston Tennis Club on the corner of Villiers Avenue and Harper Road. Photo: Google Street View

Council planners this week agreed to the development of land on the corner of Villiers Avenue and Harper Road, previously occupied by Bilston Tennis Club.

One of the oldest sporting establishments in the Black Country with more than 100 members at its peak, the club closed in 2016 due to falling numbers. The site has since fallen into disrepair.

Wolverhampton Homes will manage the new development, consisting of two terraced blocks of one and-a-half storey two-bedroom dormer bungalows facing Villiers Avenue.

Access for cars will be created from Villiers Avenue leading to off-street parking, with one space allocated for each dwelling. New tree planting and landscaping work will also be carried out on the site.

Councillor Phil Page said: “For many years this site has suffered from a lack of support for the tennis club.

“The building became derelict and I think the authority dismantled the wooden building because of the danger to young people who would play around the site.

“The fence which went all the way around the site suffered from vandalism and when that was taken down we had numerous problems with fly-tipping, so this is a fantastic scheme.”

Councillor Wendy Thompson added: “The roads are a little narrow, but I have to say that it’s a really nice site for a builder, without any obvious issues.

“It’s a fairly flat site and the development planning looks appropriate. The land at the moment is going derelict and therefore it is right that it should be used.”

Councillor Olivia Birch said: “I would like to echo what Councillor Page has said about the site. Bungalows in that area are highly in demand and we know people will move onto that site. I’m very, very happy with it.”

The council’s Cabinet (Resources) Panel first approved plans to redevelop the land under the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) in June 2017.

Sport England and the Lawn Tennis Association agreed to the site being used for 100 per cent affordable housing, subject to a payment of £40,000 from HRA funds to mitigate for the loss of the tennis courts. The cash has been used to improve tennis courts at East Park.

Senior planning officer Vijay Kaul told planning committee members that the £40,000 payment had been transferred from HRA funds to mitigate the loss of the tennis courts.

Committee chairman Councillor Keith Inston said: “I think it’s a fantastic application. There’s been some fantastic work done on this site regarding this application, not only by the planning officer but also the applicant.

“Everybody has bent over backwards to produce an application that is really tremendous. I look forward to the site being developed and to other sites like this being developed to this quality and standard.”

The application was moved by Councillor Page and seconded by Councillor Alan Butt.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News