A sports club’s bid to put up 12 floodlights to illuminate its tennis courts to enable games to be played until 10pm during autumn and winter has been approved, despite objections from nearby residents.

Urmston Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club had previously had a planning application to light up three of its tennis courts turned down by Trafford’s planning committee.

But a revised application for lighting on only two courts, using floodlights which switch off automatically at 10pm, was unanimously agreed.

Derek Knowles, the managing director of nearby retirement block Albany Court (Urmston) Management Ltd, told members of the committee that if the floodlights plan was approved, the noise and disturbance coming from the sports club would ‘cause additional distress to residents’.

“We have a genuine concern about the objective of this project – that it could be trojan horse to convert the courts to a five-a-side [football] area or a MUGA (multi-use games area).”

However, chairman of the club Simon Allcroft told responded: “I would like to make it absolutely and abundantly clear that there are not, nor will there be, any consideration for any plans for five-a-side football at our sports club.

“There are several areas of provision for small-sided football-related sports in the locality and Urmston Sports Club is not going to replace the facilities for our membership that we have had in place for 178 years.”

During the discussion over the application, Cllr Bilal Babar said: “I sympathise with the residents. They have a right to enjoy a peaceful life. I can understand the concerns they have.

“But at the same time, my mind would be at peace when I learn that the number of floodlights [being requested] has been reduced to two courts from three.”

His colleague Cllr Simon Thomas added: “I agreed with the refusal of the application for floodlights for three courts. 

“But it’s very encouraging to see the work that the club has put into this. It’s a longstanding sports club. It seems to me they have done as much as they can to make sure the floodlighting doesn’t go into the gardens.

“There will be some lighting that will be seen, but I don’t think that’s any reason to refuse the application.”

There had been objection letters from 10 properties near the club on Moorside Road but letters of support from 57.

Supporters said that the membership of the club had increased by 30 per cent over the last four years and that the floodlights would attract more members to help keep membership costs low.

The club would also be able to host competitive league matches as a result.

Objectors argued that Albany Court is a retirement block and the reasons for residents choosing to live there was ‘that it is quiet and peaceful’.

The close proximity of the floodlights to their properties was therefore a concern.

They also feared an increase in noise and an adverse impact to their privacy and outlook.

However, the committee approved the application.