New courts at Echuca Lawn Tennis Club look headed for a tie-breaker

January 01, 2018

ECHUCA Lawn Tennis Club will continue to fight to have its six new tennis courts built where they want them.

ECHUCA Lawn Tennis Club will continue to fight to have its six new tennis courts built where they want them.

But Campaspe Shire isn’t budging.

The club are set to lose six of their current courts when the new Echuca-Moama bridge is built and six replacement courts have been promised.

But the proposed location for the replacement courts has the club up in arms and demanding answers from VicRoads and the Shire of Campaspe.

But it seems they aren’t getting any.

The new courts are a $450,000 state government investment but the club says their value will be moot if the club cannot get players on the courts.

‘‘The Campaspe Shire will only look at one option and it is their option,’’ club president Brian Gledhill said.

‘‘We spoke to the council on Monday night and they basically said that the plan is going ahead as is.

‘‘Despite us being totally against it.

‘‘We were told that we were the only ones that weren’t happy with the Vic Park Master Plan draft and there is too much environmental impact to put the courts where we want them.

‘‘I don’t think they even looked at our option.

‘‘If the courts are built where they want them our club will be dysfunctional.’’

VicRoads acting project director North Western projects Steve Pattinson said they are continuing to work with the Echuca Lawn Tennis Club to help minimise any disruptions to its operation.

‘‘The final location of the replacement courts is still being investigated and a decision is expected in the new year,’’ he said.

Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie told the Riv council met with the club to inform them on the outcome of discussions held with the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.

‘‘Council coordinated the meeting with the department to confirm in principle agreement that the draft plan for the site for all user groups was achievable,’’ he said.

‘‘The draft plan identifies a number of new additions and improvements to the land area.

‘‘It provides a development solution that meets legislative requirements around native vegetation removal and is in principle achievable pending planning approval and funding.’’

Mr McKenzie said the club requested the courts be developed in an area that is different to what is proposed in the Council draft plan.

‘‘This area is identified as environmental habitat containing native vegetation,’’ he said.

‘‘Any proposed development of this area that requires removal of vegetation will be subject to the native vegetation legislation requirements and requires approval from DELWP.

‘‘DEWLP has indicated they would not support the unnecessary removal of native vegetation if there was a viable alternative option available for the tennis courts to be developed.

‘‘Council has informed the club of this and offered to support the club in discussing their request in more detail with the landlord, DELWP.’’

Mr Gledhill said the club are worried the council will just go ahead with the build and they are the ones who will be affected.

‘‘It doesn’t impact on anyone else but our club and the players who use the courts,’’ he said.

‘‘All we want is for the courts to be closer to our existing courts for a more cohesive club.

‘‘That is all we are asking.

‘‘But they aren’t listening.’’

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