Gerrards Cross Town Council has formally objected to plans for a new sports centre replacing an allotment site at the town’s Memorial Centre.

The plans to build new padel courts at the centre were put forward by the Gerrards Cross Community Association last month with a view of “opening the space up to a new audience” at the cost of “a few allotment holders losing their plots”.

Alongside opposition from allotment holders including Pat Cross, 72, who told the Free Press she was “heartbroken” by the loss of a valued community activity, the project has also come under fire from nearby residents, who are worried about noise and light pollution from the new hybrid sport.

And it was on behalf of residents like Sarah Williams, who lives at Marsham Lodge, an estate backing onto the proposed padel court space, that the town council submitted an objection to the plans following a meeting on Monday, June 17.

Sarah, 57, said she understands the association’s goal of attracting more young people to the town centre but doesn’t believe this development is the right way to go about it.

She said: “We’d never be able to have our windows open again – lots of us are worried about the light and sound, and the visuals of Perspex and a bright blue floor. The land also falls inside the Gerrards Cross Conservation Area – I just don’t think it’s the right place.”

READ MORE: Gerrards Cross café handed one-out-of-five food hygiene rating

Pat, one of seven allotment holders who have been told that their use of the land will be terminated in December, said the overwhelming reaction has been of “shock and deflation” at the prospect of no longer being able to tend to their plants and vegetables in a “lovely, peaceful area” just a short walk from home.

Tony Aston, president of the community association, said he had “taken notice of the feedback" from residents and the town council.

Adding: “While confident that the proposal meets the (necessary) planning requirements, (the association does) propose to reinforce its initial planning application to fully address the specific points that have been raised.

“Notwithstanding some reservations about the project, we believe it will be an excellent addition to the sporting facilities available to Gerrards Cross residents and encourage many more residents to take advantage of the charity’s facilities.”

The application has been recommended to proceed to Buckinghamshire Council’s planning committee for discussion and a definitive approval or rejection.