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Pickleball courts could replace golf driving range

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A file picture of how a pickleball court looks.

Plans to replace a driving range at Newstead Belmont Hills with pickleball courts have been given the green light by the Department of Planning.

The application, submitted earlier this year by Botelho Wood Architects on behalf of Newstead Lantana Spa Ltd, proposed the creation of eight pickleball courts on the site near Middle Road as an added amenity for guests.

The applicant said that the driving range was “not as successful as anticipated” and was rarely used.

Pickleball — described as a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis — is typically played on a badminton-size court using a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.

The application did receive a handful of objections, including parking and noise concerns, but the plans were formally approved by the Development Applications Board last week.

In responses to the objectors, the applicant said that patrons would be able to park in designated spaces on Villa Crescent or an overflow parking area across Belmont Hills Drive.

“We have previously noted that the anticipated users of the pickleball courts will primarily be Newstead Hotel guests, delivered and collected by hotel transport,” the applicant added.

“The secondary usage will be by residence at Belmont Hills condominiums and villas. In spite of a vocal few objectors, there are many residents that have indicated their desire to patronise the courts.”

The applicant also said that there was dense foliage between Villa Crescent and the proposed courts, which would be bolstered by oleander.

“Oleander forms a very dense hedge and is recognised for sound absorbing,” the applicant said. “We have previously made the point that noise generation from the pickle ball courts is no greater than that from a golf driving range.”

The applicant also noted that the hours of operation for the courts could be limited to 7am to 10pm, the same hours of operation as the driving range, to reduce disruptions for neighbours.

Revised plans for pickleball courts at Belmont (Image from planning documents)

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Published September 15, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated September 15, 2023 at 6:12 pm)

Pickleball courts could replace golf driving range

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