Fears for squash club after expansion plans were rejected

Huntingdonshire District Council

Huntingdonshire District Council - Credit: Archant


A SQUASH club and gym with around 100 members is set to close as the owners have said they are unable to keep up with the bills.

Abbotsley Squash Club has been at the Cromwell Golf Club for 40 years, but its owner said it will have to close after plans for a 55-berth caravan park, intended to help with the business’ running costs, were rejected by Huntingdonshire District Council.

The plans were thrown out in April last year by an eight-to-seven vote by members of HDC’s development management panel. They felt the caravan park, which would have been in a nearby field, was “directly contrary to the Huntingdonshire Local Plan”.

Golf club owner Vivien Saunders appealed but the planning inspectorate agreed with HDC – that the park would have a detrimental effect “on the character and appearance of the countryside”.

Ms Saunders told The Hunts Post: “On the near horizon there is a power station, the squash courts themselves, lights from the 24-hour Tesco, a visible development on 1,250 new houses and eight wind turbines – how can a caravan park be detrimental to the local countryside?”

The squash club has three competitive teams, around 100 members as well as a club house that also serves the course’s driving range.

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A spokesman for HDC said: “An officer recommended the plans for refusal.

“Members agreed with officers and the application was refused in April 2012. The applicant appealed that decision but it was dismissed.

“During the course of that appeal a second application was submitted, and refused under delegated powers.”