CHARD Tennis Club is hoping to get the town’s backing to revamp its clubhouse in a bid to win over planning bosses.

The club has about 60 members, six senior sides and one junior team at its base at Zembard Lane but committee members say the clubhouse is in a sorry state.

Secretary Sue Key, who has been involved for 25 years, said: “Our club is very nice, in a great location and the courts are to a good standard, but the clubhouse and toilets have fallen into disrepair.

“It is dreadful, we do not have any windows and the toilets are grim, so people avoid them.”

In the last few years, the club, which plays in the first division of the|men’s, ladies and mixed Yeovil and District League, has concentrated on ensuring its courts and floodlights are up to scratch to meet strict league standards.

Planning bosses at South Somerset District Council refused its application last month to revamp the clubhouse and install floodlights next to one of the courts because the club needed to show it had the community’s support and financial backing.

It has since applied for a £50,000 Sport England grant and launched a petition in a bid to encourage people in Chard to help boost the club.

Sue said: “At the moment some of the players go to the Wetherspoon’s|to socialise after matches but in|an ideal world we would stay at the club.

“We are now waiting to see if we get the grant – we are really putting ourselves out to do it and we are hopeful we can get permission.

“We feel we deserve it – the club has really gone forward in the last few years and this is what we need. Chard will benefit from it.”

The club has been based in the town for many years and one of its top coaches is Sally Freeman, who has represented Great Britain in veterans’|tennis.