Wellington’s major sports clubs are at war with each other over the tennis club’s plans to build a third court in the corner of the recreation ground. Taunton’s planning committee will decide the issue next month but there is already a great deal of ill-will between the various parties. The scheme would involve moving the second footbal pitch slightly.
Both the football and cricket clubs have registered objections on the TDBC planning website to the proposal and tennis club chair Sue Rackley has reacted angrily to this by saying that this two groups appear hostile to the tennis players and wish only for the status quo to be maintained.
“The effect on the future of football and cricket at Wellington Playing Field is jeopardised by this application; movement of football Pitch Two would have to occur by some six metres …and this would bring the football pitch perilously close to the cricket square,” complained cricket club secretary David Derrick.
“The potential for damage is ever present. Any reduction in the quality and nature of the facility for one sport caused by another cannot be tolerated.”
His counterpart at the Wellington Football club, Colin Waller, also wrote to planners objecting to the third court and accusing the tennis club of keeping secrets about the specifics of its plans.
“It is not possible to see size of pitch shown, distances to various boundaries, trees, the mound and cricket square. By not doing this it gives us an impression the tennis club have something to hide,” wrote Mr Waller.
After hearing from Mr Waller and a number of councillors Wellington town council recently recommended refusal of the third court “because of the impact on other sporting facilities”.
Ms Rackley and the tennis club reacted angrily, writing to TDBC planners: “I do not believe the tennis club has broken any rules except for the unspoken rule of pandering to the egos of the football and cricket clubs. I do not recall these clubs EVER consulting the tennis clubabout changes to their wicket or issues with the pitches!
“We didn’t even get consulted over the Paviliion and are often made to feel unwelcome over there. I believe theirobjections are unsubstantiated and they just don’t want anything to change, as stated in David Derrick’s objection.
“We strongly believe that as the town council ‘remain supportive of the principle of additional tennis facilities’they failed to look at the bigger picture of offering a rapidly growing community greater opportunities to play sport and meet government targets to tackle obesity and health problems.”