THE number of tennis courts in Summertown may be cut to give open up space for other activities.

Alexandra Courts, of Middle Way, is leased by Norham Gardens Lawn Tennis Club and has six hard courts and 14 grass courts.

But residents have said 14 grass courts is too many and that space for young people to picnic should be created there instead.

The action has already been supported by site owner Oxford City Council in a 2010 report, on condition that funding was found.

The club has a lease agreement with the council which means court space is guaranteed on match days and members get free use of the space.

City councillor for Summertown Andrew Gant said: “Residents generally support the idea that this space could be used in a better way.

“Often no more than four courts will be in use at one time, so to have a comfortable amount for the tennis club as well we only really need six to eight.

“But how many should be kept is ultimately up to the public and we’d like to encourage a discussion.

“This could be a great place to provide space for an open park which families and dog walkers could make use of. And it would also be a good place for teenagers to use, because at the moment there is nowhere in Summertown for them to go.”

Club treasurer Virginia Tite welcomed the suggestions.

She said: “It would certainly be reasonable to say that as long as enough dedicated space for the tennis club remained we would support this.


“At the moment we have about 10 courts in use and there is quite a lot of space between each of them. You could make even more space for parks if you moved them closer together.”

The city council said in 2010 there was a total of 121 tennis courts, indoor and outdoor, in North Oxford.

And a survey carried out found that Alexandra Courts was used about 1,600 times – or by roughly 18 people a day – from April to June that year.

Of those 50 per cent were members of Norham Gardens Lawn Tennis Club.

Mr Gant said he wanted residents to contact him at to say what they would like the space used for.

A spokesman for Oxford City Council said: “Each summer Alexandra Courts sees approximately 2,000 people pick up a racket and play tennis. We have recently formed a partnership with Premier Tennis to offer a great range of affordable tennis sessions on the courts for people of all ages to enjoy.

“Sessions include mini tennis for children and coaching and cardio tennis for adults. Alexandra Courts is also home to Norham Gardens Lawn Tennis Club.”

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