Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Top tennis coach backs plan for leisure centre
A TOP tennis coach said it could “only be a good thing for British tennis” if Oxfordshire’s largest leisure centre were expanded.
Seth Dixon, head coach at Oxford City Lawn Tennis Club, was speaking after Abingdon’s White Horse Tennis and Leisure Centre said it is planning to build a new car park which will allow it to welcome more visitors.
The centre says its 238-space car park has been fully utilised since it opened in 2002. It now wants to build a 99-space extension in an adjacent field.
Mr Dixon, 38, who lives in Burford, said: “I can’t see it being anything but a good thing for British tennis.
“I think people would welcome expansion. If I have strong kids in the club I send them to Abingdon; the best generally train there.”
Other centre users have welcomed the news.
Mum-of-two Gillian Nightall said: “Trying to park at peak times like after school is a nightmare.”
She said the centre was popular because it offered a better service than others in Oxfordshire, and welcomed the planned expansion.
Mum-of-one Jill Childs said: “If you have small children it is excellent. We come from Woodstock because the creche is amazing.”
But she said the swimming pool was too small, and that if the centre was expanding its car park it should expand its facilities.
Since it opened in 2002 the centre in Audlett Drive has had more than seven million visitors.
Software developers Nick Malden and Simon Haynes live in Oxford, but visit the centre from their office in Radley to play tennis.
Mr Haynes, 48, said: “It does get busy during the day. Occasionally you have to drive around the car park and just wait for a space to become free.”
The leisure centre is owned by Vale of White Horse District Council and run by charity Active Nation.
Vale council spokesman Natalie Ellis said: “The centre’s parking facilities have always been fully utilised, limiting expansion options in the centre and its programmes. The council now has the resources to accommodate this ever-growing demand by providing extended car parking facilities.”
The council has applied to its planning department for permission for the scheme.
A decision is due on December 10.
Comments are closed on this article.