Editor's pick: Loss of tennis courts ruled contrary to amenity policy

Plans for two homes on former tennis courts in Wiltshire have been dismissed after an inspector decided that the site fulfils an important amenity and recreational function.

A saved local plan policy sought to prevent the loss of open areas that were important for recreation or amenity reasons. The appellant explained that the tennis courts had been removed and the land remained in private ownership. He stated that the site had limited amenity value and did not comprise open space, since it had never been available for public use. 

The inspector noted that the site was self-evidently open and was located in a suburban area. While recognising that it had never been used as a formal recreational ground, he noted that national planning practice guidance states that 'open space’ includes all space of public value. Such spaces are important in maintaining the urban landscape and promoting sustainable development, he ruled. The appeal scheme's benefits did not outweigh the land's amenity and recreational function, he concluded.

Inspector: Martin Andrews; Written representations

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