Tennis on the move

By MITCHELLDALE

THE relocation of Coffs Harbour Tennis Club courts is close to being finalised, with land near the base of City Hill (near Coffs Harbour racecourse) currently the favoured site.

The planned move, which would be a result of the mooted transformation of Brelsford Park into a civic centre, has been welcomed with open arms by the Coffs Harbour club.

Coffs Harbour coaching professional Danny Sousa said the move would be fantastic for his club.

"It would be ideal for us because it wouldn't affect our membership or that of any other clubs," he said.

"Previous sites that were mentioned could have affected Sawtell or Westside, but (the site near the Race course) would allow us to continue servicing our members, local schools, motels and backpacker hostels."

If the relocation of the Coffs Harbour courts goes ahead, 12 grand slam (hard court) surfaces, as well as four synthetic courts, will be built, giving the club facilities capable of holding regional, State and National tournaments.

"It will certainly give Coffs Harbour the opportunity to host lower-level ATP and WTA tournaments (with prizemoney of $10,000 to $25,000)," Tennis NSW manager of tennis operations Greg Sleigh said.

"We probably only have around half a dozen venues in the State that can accommodate events of that stature.

"There are no promises, but it would look pretty good for Coffs Harbour if it had a venue with ten hard court surfaces."

Coffs Harbour City councillor Ian Hogbin was confident plans for the Brelsford Park re-development would go ahead, paving the way for the relocation of the tennis courts.

Cr Hogbin said plans for the Brelsford Park transformation should be displayed for public viewing by the end of the year.

Provided there are no objections, he hopes work can begin early in 2005.

"Because it is a change of usage (of Brelsford Park), the plan needs to go on display to the public for 28 days,' he said.

"At this stage, I have no reason to believe the plans won't be accepted, although I can't speak for the other eight councillors.

"The plans should be displayed for the public before the end of the year, so I would expect it to be put to bed by January-February."



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