Agenda item - BH2022/02972 - Withdean Sports Complex, Padel Tennis Court - Full Planning

skip navigation and tools

Agenda item

BH2022/02972 - Withdean Sports Complex, Padel Tennis Court - Full Planning


1.             The Planning Manager introduced the application to the Committee.




2.       The Democratic Services Officer read out a statement on behalf of Mr Simon Farncombe a neighbouring objector. Although very popular with users the existing padel court had resulted in significant noise nuisance for residents. This had resulted in statutory noise nuisance; a Noise Abatement Notice had been served and a stage 2 formal complaint had been lodged. Residents were concerned that three further courts would increase the existing problems. It was also considered that the noise report supporting the proposed new padel courts was unrepresentative as readings had been taken during the May half term holidays when being used by younger/more junior players who had generated less noise.


3.       The Democratic Services Officer also read out a statement on behalf of Mr Peter Gordon, Director, Game for Padel. The existing temporary court had highlighted issues around player noise and operational management which had been addressed when selecting the new location for three new padel courts which formed the subject of this application. The temporary court occupied a multi-use games area which had previously been used for football and other ball sports with far more players.


4.       The complaints referred to had come from one property and a number of adjustments had been made to reduce their concerns. The new facility would be surrounded by trees to help mitigate noise and light (floodlighting) and would be a significant distance away from houses with the associated roads and railway line between. The new courts would also be covered and semi-enclosed which would help to contain noise as well as light spill and it had been concluded in the Noise Assessment that the new facility should not give rise to significant noise concerns. Playing hours had also been reduced in order to reduce the impact on neighbours. Adjustments were being made to the existing temporary court to reduce noise and on completion of the new covered facility the temporary court would be removed and returned to other use.


          Answers to Committee Member Questions


5.       In answer to questions regarding the noise complaints and objections received in respect of them it was explained that the objector’s house was located 30m from the temporary court and that whilst there was no specific guidance for assessing this type of activity, a Noise Assessment had been undertaken using a methodology for industrial uses, with mitigation measures implemented in respect of the new proposed courts proposed.


6.       It was confirmed that once operational the temporary court would be removed and that statutory powers under the Environmental Protection Act could be used in the event of noise nuisance.


7.       Councillor Nann asked whether the nuisance had resulted from the sport itself or the playing surface and what a noise abatement notice required. It was explained that the operator had to do whatever was necessary to reduce noise levels, in this case reducing the frequency of the activity and erecting barriers.


8.       Councillor Pickett asked whether the proposed scheme would generate less noise than the existing. It was confirmed that as the courts would be enclosed covered and surrounded by tress that would result in a noise reduction. The nearest properties would be some 90m from the site where the existing is 30m from the nearest dwellings.


9.       Councillor Robinson enquired regarding the number of properties which would be affected, and the Planning Officer explained indicated the location of the nearest houses. The Chair referred to the topography of the site which was lower in height than the properties situated to the north and Councillor Robinson enquired how that could impact on the noise levels for those properties. It was noted that this would be beneficial and that the courts would be surrounded by trees with roads and a railway line between it and the nearest houses.




10.      Councillor Lyons stated that the Withdean Sports Complex had always been in use as a sports facility for a range of uses, for a period of time by Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club attended by up to 6,000 people with the associated noise. The impact of four people playing padel would be significantly less and the permanent site had been relocated to mitigate noise nuisance and the hours of operation had been reduced. He therefore considered the proposal to be acceptable.




11.      A vote was taken, and the Committee voted unanimously to grant planning permission.


12.      RESOLVED – That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to GRANT planning permission subject to the Conditions and Informatives also set out in the report.


Supporting documents:


Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: | how to find us | comments & complaints