Floodlight Consultation 2019

Rowlands Castle Tennis Club Floodlights Consultation
Autumn 2019


Rowland’s Castle Tennis Club is considering providing floodlights for the tennis courts at the Recreation Ground to improve the opportunities for residents to play tennis, as they would be able to be play in the evenings in late autumn, winter and early Spring. This initiative is supported, in principal, by over 90% of Tennis Club members.

This consultation document sets out the Tennis Club’s thoughts on the approach and rationale for the floodlights, with a view to seeking feedback and consultation from interested parties to enable the Committee to consider whether it progresses to submitting a planning application.

This document includes the following key areas

  • Rationale – the reasons why we believe floodlights would be of benefit
  • Proposed Layouts – setting out the layout of the floodlights
  • Operational Matters – how the floodlights would be operated
  • Funding – the proposed funding

At this stage of the project the tennis club are still exploring the option and have not made a firm decision to proceed. The information in this document is therefore still at initial stage and is likely to be refined if the club decides to progress.

Rationale

The overriding rationale for the floodlights is to increase participation in tennis in the village and in particular the aim will be to:

  1. Extend the season for all, including the popular social tennis evenings
  2. Allow people who are currently unable to play during the day (such as our many fulltime working members and non members and juniors) to play weekday evenings
  3. Make it more likely that we could provide extended and continual coaching throughout the year to strengthen our playing quality and numbers.

Initial estimates suggest that the Club would be able to attract circa 10-20% new members who currently either don’t play or play at other clubs (with floodlights). Over 80% of our members live within Rowlands Castle. The floodlights would also allow public participation in tennis to increase with the ability for non members to book courts on Tuesdays and Thursdays as currently.

In particular it will allow the season to be extended beyond the April – September months and allow people to play all year round during the evenings.


Proposed Layouts

The club have arranged for indicative quotes for the floodlights and have received proposed layouts from potential suppliers, which not only shows the floodlight layout but also the potential light spill from floodlights. The recommended layout is for 18 lights across the three courts and we illustrate the layout and light spill for Court 3 (nearest the corner) below.


From the quote it can be seen that the light spill reaches low levels at the boundaries of neighbouring properties being at 15 lux and 1 lux through the boundaries. For anyone interested in seeing these in more detail for all the courts please contact Robin Thompson: chairman@rctc.co.uk. The lights are directed towards the courts and we illustrate a similar installation below.

Operational Matters

It is proposed that the lights would only be in operation to 9pm at the latest, subject to planning. It is expected that the lights would be on a timer and would only be on when the courts are being used and would automatically go off at 9pm.

The Club currently charges £97 for a family membership and courts are then free of charge. It is expected that the courts will be operated through a meter system so that those using the courts will be expected to pay for them. It is not anticipated that the membership fees will go up due to the floodlights and in the financial planning we expect to be able to cover off the additional electricity and maintenance through the current membership fees and the additional members who are likely to join.

Costs and Funding

The indicative costs for the floodlights are £35,000 with the potential for additional costs of circa £5,000 for the electronic systems and electricity. The Club has circa £15,000 within its own reserves and will be seeking to fund the balance through a combination of grant applications (Sport England and the Lawn Tennis Association) and potentially interest free loans. We have prepared a detailed financial forecast which suggests we will be able to fund the project through these sources and the long term financial plan covers off the future operational costs as well as normal replacement costs (such as court relaying, fencing replacement, etc).

We are now seeking feedback from you as to your views on the benefits and any concerns you have for the floodlights (whether you live in close proximity to the courts or simply live in the village). We believe that the addition of floodlights to the tennis courts will provide a worthwhile addition to the sporting facilities in the village and create opportunities for more people to be physically active through tennis and create social opportunities for meeting new people.

We would encourage as many of you as possible to come forward and express your views, to enable us to decide on whether the project is something we would want to pursue. To do this we have set up a brief survey on line through this link: Floodlight Survey Alternatively if you would like to express your views in an email then please email Robin Thompson: chairman@rctc.co.uk. Please send all responses or complete survey by Wednesday 11 December.