12:12 13 February 2022
Vandals have targeted the Norwich tennis courts, in what could be the latest in a long-running dispute over work being carried out there.
Glass jars of white paint were thrown onto the courts at Heigham Park.
Feelings about the construction of new accessible tennis courts have been mixed.
In 2021, there were many discussions and protests as some community members strongly disagreed with the council over the construction of hard tennis courts in the park.
Some 120 people opposed the construction work, but the work was approved and has since been started.
Claire Read, a regular user of the park, was “shocked and saddened” on Saturday to find the courts, which are not yet complete, had been vandalized.
She said: ‘I was just walking past and wanted to see how they were doing with the courts and if they had already started putting the green coat on it, but what I actually saw was senseless vandalism.
Ms Read found the vandals had filled glass jars with shiny paint and thrown them all over the courts.
“There was broken glass and paint everywhere,” she said.
She added: ‘I know there is a very vocal small group of people who protested against the courts but this action seems very extreme, it is a sad day as it was about facilities for everyone. people in our community.
“The courts will also be used by at least four schools, so it’s very confusing.”
It comes as activists began demonstrating in the park last year to end the idea of building hard-lit courts in the park.
Exclaiming “We will not be a steamroller.”
The arguments arose as community members felt that the money it would take to build the courts could be much better spent elsewhere.
The community continues to be very divided on the future of the park.
Ms Read said police were called and saw them later in the avenues so anyone with information should contact the police.
Norfolk Police have been approached for comment.