PLANS to rip up the 100-year-old Anglican Church tennis courts in Warrnambool for a $3.5 million residential units project have been put on hold indefinitely.
Diocesan bishop Garry Weatherill and other church leaders have decided the project was unaffordable after reviewing the plans which gained city council approval last year.
The prime site nestled beside the historic Christ Church parish building was earlier earmarked for development by the local parish council which had identified a need for more CBD units for the elderly.
“Now the project is in limbo,” parish council spokesman Vern Robson said.
“We can’t advance it without approval from the Ballarat diocese which owns the property.”
Parish priest Father Scott Lowrey who is also a member of the bishop-in-council group said the project was deemed unaffordable considering financial constraints of the parish and diocese.
“For us to do it on our own would have been impossible,” he said.
“We had entered into discussion with other organisations, but didn’t come to an acceptable outcome.
“However, we are still looking at the long-term future of the tennis courts and how to use a good asset for the community.
“We are always open to constructive conversation, but it has to be an affordable project.
“Tennis club members can continue to enjoy the facility and look forward to another season.”
The city’s oldest tennis club will celebrate its centenary on Saturday with afternoon tea in the Hammond Fellowship Centre.
Membership has dwindled, but a few loyal volunteers keep the three courts in good shape for social matches on Tuesday mornings.