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Lighting up time for tennis in Lyneham?

Monday, 04 March 2013 10:41

Orion and the stars Orion and the stars Photo: Jeremy Stanley, Wikipedia, Creative Commonrs

This Thursday, 7 March 2013, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) will decide whether or not to fund a controversial scheme that will introduce light pollution into an area of the Cotswolds AONB with the second darkest skies in the UK.  

The Wychwoods Tennis Club's proposal to build four floodlit tennis courts in the small village of Lyneham, which has no street or road lighting, was thrown out by West Oxfordshire District Council in February 2012. The Council said the development would be "an alien and incongruous form of development which would neither conserve nor enhance the intrinsic landscape qualities of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".

Despite the fact that residents in Lyneham and the surrounding area and Cotswolds Conservation Board all strongly objected to this scheme - as do we at CPRE Oxfordshire - the tennis club appealed against the Council's decision. Alas, the decision was recently overturned by the Planning Inspectorate. However, to go ahead, the scheme relies on substantial funding from the LTA.

Carole Sherwood, a Lyneham resident said: "If the LTA gives the go-ahead to this development on Thursday then it won't be the stars and constellations we'll gaze at from our windows at night but 24 floodlights on metal poles."

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