A Fylde coast sports club is proposing to set up an inflatable air dome to provide full weather cover for its two tennis courts.
Lytham Cricket and Sports Club’s scheme comes before Fylde planners today and is recommended for approval.
The Church Road club wants to have the nine metre high ‘demountable dome’, which would be of a translucent, single skin plastic construction, in place between October and April each year to allow continued ‘indoor’ use of the courts between autumn and early spring.
Although the land is in Lytham Conservation Area, close to listed buildings and the proposed dome would result in the removal of two trees protected by a preservation area, the planning officer’s report suggests the general impact will be negligeable.
Sports England initially objected to the proposed dome, which would measure 34.7m in length and 32.2m in width, overs fears the dome could potentially obstruct cricket matches at the club by causing “ball strike” – but the club has given assurances the dome will be dismantled before the cricket season starts.
The planning officer’s report states: “The air dome would be discreetly located to the northwest corner of the site.
“It would be substantially screened from surrounding public vantage points by clusters of protected woodland, following the southern (to Church Road) and western (to St Cuthbert’s Church) boundaries of the site.
“Views from the closest homes to the east would be partially screened by existing and proposed planting surrounding a scoreboard to the east of the site.
“Accordingly, the dome would not appear as a dominant or intrusive feature in the landscape and would not have an oppressive or overbearing impact on the occupiers of neighbouring dwellings.”
“Any harm to the conservation area and locally listed heritage asset would be less than substantial given its inconspicuous siting in relation to the main vista of the conservation area.”
However, the scheme is opposed by Fylde’s tree officer, who notes: “I cannot accept the loss of any Tree Preservation Order trees in good health, which these specimens appear to be.
“Not only would the loss of these trees have a negative impact on amenity value, it will also put the remaining trees under un-accustomed biomechanical conditions.”
The project also entails the relocation of perimetre fencing and accesspaths and the intriduction of new landscaping.