Mini-golf and padel courts will be new additions. Credit: Courtside

Hillsborough Park sports overhaul nodded through

Leisure operator Courtside Hubs will upgrade the tennis courts area of the Sheffield park in a project featuring padel courts, mini-golf, replacement courts and a café and community building.

The project is being advanced in partnership with Sheffield City Council, Sport England and the Lawn Tennis Association, among others.

CT Planning and Kirkman Architects lead the professional team.

Established in 2015, Courtside Hubs in a Community Interest Company based in Oxfordshire with the stated aims of driving footfall to parks and increasing inclusive physical activity. It now has partnerships in 35 locations.

At Hillsborough, the facility will replace the MUGA and four tennis courts already in situ – courts one member of the planning committee described as in need of replacement.

The site is located between the duck pond and the boundary with Penistone Road and is immediately adjacent to the recently created pump track.

The proposal includes:

  • A café/community space building, potentially to host exercise classes, yoga, community meetings etc
  • Three tennis courts, with one also suitable for netball
  • A multi-use games area (MUGA)
  • Two padel tennis courts
  • Mini-golf area
  • Outdoor activity space

The MUGA is intended to remain as free-to-use, but that there will be a charge for the other facilities proposed. The proposed MUGA will be smaller than the existing provision.

Close to Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground of the same name, the site lies to the north-west of the city centre, between Penistone Road and Middlewood Road.

There are six listed structures in the wider park, the surrounds of which are mostly residential, dating back to Victorian housing to the west.

In planning terms, Hillsborough Park is designated as an open space area, a historic park and garden and lies within the Hillsborough Conservation Area as defined by Sheffield’s unitary development plan.

Although Sheffield Wednesday back the project, it did raise 18 objections locally – however, the proposal secured the green light with relative ease.

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