PLANS have been submitted to create new padel tennis courts in Cheshire.

The Padel Club is seeking permission from Cheshire East Council to build the courts at the Total Fitness Wilmslow gym in Handforth.

The increasingly popular sport, a mix between tennis and squash, is rapidly growing across the UK and already clubs in the county are looking to get involved.

An application has already been lodged for padel tennis courts at Grappenhall in Warrington.

If this latest proposal is approved, four courts would be created with three under a canopy alongside a single open court.

A design and access statement, prepared by Lightwater TPC on behalf of the applicant, said: "Padel tennis can be played to a very high level, it is also more accessible to those whose level of fitness, agility or skill make conventional tennis overly challenging or unrewarding (frustrating), even at an amateur and informal level.

"Padel tennis therefore offers significant health and well-being benefits by attracting people who might not otherwise participate in a sport or indeed who might not otherwise participate in any form of exercise.

Knutsford Guardian: Total Fitness Wilmslow at Handforth (Google)Total Fitness Wilmslow at Handforth (Google)

"The proposed use will improve the range of opportunities for members of the local community to participate in sport and exercise.

"It will do so at an appropriate location, without prejudice to any existing or planned-for neighbouring uses and without harm to the host environment (subject to appropriate conditions)."

The four courts will replace an existing hardstanding area at the gym, which is located of the A34 Wilmslow-Handforth Bypass, and will also displace 68 of its 777 parking spaces.

The surface would be a blue astroturf, specially designed for padel tennis, with each court enclosed by toughened glass and steel mesh fencing.

All of the courts will each be lit by four six metre-high, directional floodlights.

The deadline for submitting comments on the plans is July 20.

For more details on the proposal, search reference 22/1928M on the council's online planning portal.