Portswood Community Group fighting to save local park’s picnic area from development

Posted on October 28, 2010 by


A local community group in Portswood is fighting to save its recently established picnic area in Portswood Recreation ground after finding out the the City Council want to replace it with an extra tennis court only months after giving the picnic area permission.

Part of the completed picnic/garden area, soon to be levelled?

Local residents are perplexed as to why only months after the Council OK’d the picnic and garden area they have apparently decided to demolish at least half of it.  The tennis court would join the other two already in the small recreation ground, and it has been rumoured by residents that this expansion is allegedly preceding all of the courts coming out of free, public use to eventually become a private members club.  The proposal is based upon a limited survey from 5 years ago (in which only a few court users are said to have taken part) that suggested an extra court, but has not been acted upon until now.  Another survey has been potentially mooted by residents, but to work it is essential it reaches all local residents and just current court users.

Rafael Persaud, chair of the NBSP Community Group who built the Picnic Garden and hosted the popular One Big Community festival at the ground this September, explains:

The NBSP Portswood community group have been working hard to redevelop the old rose garden into the new picnic area so that everyone can enjoy it from the young to the old. A lot of people’s hard work and time has been spent on this project as well as grant funding from various organisations. The flowers that are in the picnic area will help attract wildlife and other creatures/insects- part of the condition of one of the grants we have been awarded (greener grant from SCC). The new picnic area will also be a welcome attraction to the recreation ground and might help more people make use of this beautiful open space in the heart of the Portswood community.

Now it has come to light that there might be a proposal for a 3rd tennis court which would see half of the new picnic area lost to a tennis court.

We don’t mind having 2 tennis courts as this has always been a feature of Portswood recreation ground but we don’t see the need for a 3rd tennis court.

Tennis is a seasonal sport so will mainly be used for a couple of months throughout the year. The estimated cost of a 3rd tennis court could be around £85000 (figure quoted by local councillor). This money could be spent on improving the play area, dog walking area or even putting in a disable access path from Brickfield road entrance. These improvements are greatly needed for portswood recreation ground.

According to a local councillor who the community group has spoken there might be a very slight possibility that if a 3rd tennis court is built that in the future they may want this to become a private members club. But not taking this into consideration does Portswood recreation ground need a 3rd tennis court when the money can be spent on other improvements to the recreation ground and help achieving the community group goal of getting a green park status for Portswood recreation ground.

Please sign our petition against a 3rd tennis court and help us save our new picnic area that everyone can enjoy now and for the future.

To sign the petition, email in with your name and address stating your objection to nbspcommunity@hotmail.co.uk (if you’d like to join friends of portswood park, a group to improve and defend the park, then state that too).

Posted in: News, Southampton