The Deputy Leader of North Norfolk District Council explains the truth behind the abandonment of this project.
The Tory PPCs claim that the new Liberal Democrat administration at the District Council has called a halt to the proposed tennis hub at Cromer because it was originally proposed by the previous Conservative administration is ridiculous. He might see politics through this kind of narrow lens but Liberal Democrats have a more objective evidence based approach to problems.
When the tennis hub project was originally approved by the District Council in 2017, with wide cross party support, it was based on significant investment by the national Lawn Tennis Association and on continued support from all three interested parties, namely, the District Council, Cromer Academy and the Cromer Tennis Club
By April this year the Council was faced with a situation where the Lawn Tennis Association had withdrawn their proposed investment and the Tennis Club had withdrawn their support which meant that they were not prepared to release their part of the land that was necessary for the project to continue. The Council's legal officers advised that if the Council wished to carry on with the project they could expect to have to take possibly lengthy legal action against individual members of the Tennis Club to force them to agree to their land being used and to recover the Council's costs for the delays to the project that their actions had caused. Experience suggests that a Council suing its own residents involved in community activity is a scenario that can have damaging consequences.
Against this background the District Council's Cabinet took a decision to call a halt. Lessons will have to be learnt as to why the Council for so long continued to pursue a project that that was becoming increasingly costly and difficult to deliver. This was recognised by Councillors from all three political groups represented on the District Council in the discussion at the Cabinet meeting where the project was stopped.
These are the facts and the situation that the Council had to address. Regrettably too much public money has already been lost but the decision not to carry on is stopping any more money being wasted on something that could no longer be delivered.
Deputy Leader North Norfolk District Council
Liberal Democrat North Walsham East