An inflatable sports dome is to be installed at a Glasgow secondary school as part of a tennis academy that could host local, regional and national competitions.
A planning application for the sports dome, which will be situated at the Anniesland campus of the High School of Glasgow (HSoG), was given the green light on Tuesday despite recommendations from officers to refuse it as proposals did not fit with the council’s development plan.
The tennis academy will replace the existing grass rugby pitches and include the sports dome, an ancillary strength and conditioning gym and sports science performance space.
It will also be accessible to members of the tennis community and although described as a temporary structure, the dome would not need to be deflated or removed each night.
During the planning committee, there were mixed feelings from councillors about whether the application should be granted.
Bailie Thomas Kerr said: “I am a little perplexed by this application. I think this seems pretty sensible, even though it’s down for refusal and I am quite supportive of it.
“I think it would enhance the area, make it look a bit better and give a fantastic facility to the school but also to the local community. We may have lovely weather just now but we know that is very rare in Glasgow.
“I think this would give students a chance to play tennis all year round which would be good and I wish it is something that I had done in school.
“I am quite content that it is not too close to other people’s property – it is quite far away. I don’t buy the idea that it will damage the streetscape area. I think something like this would bring more life back to the area so I would be supportive of this.”
But Bailie Christy Mearns disagreed and said she did not feel there was enough information to ignore officers’ recommendations.
Councillor Mearns said: “This is an application for refusal based on very clear policy failures, particularly when it comes to open space.
“The site is very close to the road, it blocks off very important aspects onto the playing fields, which is why we have these sites of importance and we have them protected within our policies.
“I do feel that we should be upholding the policies that are in place in order to protect the good quality of our places that we have.
“Without having more detail on the impact of the proposed structure on the area as has been pointed out, I don’t feel that I would be confident to overturn an official recommendation for refusal in this instance.”
Following the discussion the majority of councillors agreed to approve the plans but asked officers to draft a list of conditions so that the development would follow the council’s planning guidelines.