Padel to be served up in Mansfield as plans are voted through

How the new complex will look

Plans for a new padel complex at Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium have been given the green light after an elongated planning process.

UAE-based World Padel Academy (WPA) will now develop and operate the facilities at the League Two club’s ground in Nottinghamshire as part of a £10m investment to promote the game in the UK.

The WPA will build and operate four indoor padel courts at the One Call Stadium, along with the associated amenities such as a reception, food and beverage outlet with sitting areas and a retail store. The new complex would be on an area of unused wasteland next to 3G pitches linked to the wider One Call Stadium.

James Bowring, chief operating officer of the World Padel Academy, told ““Last evening was very pleasing to hear the Mansfield District Council Planning Committee chair grant approval for WPA Mansfield.

“This is a key milestone for World Padel Academy UK, to build our first purpose-built facility in the UK.”

While the planning committee voted unanimously to approve WPA Mansfield, understands there are still have a number of pre-commencement conditions to be signed off.

The project was categorised as a major development, with WPA having to comply with the full scope of planning requirements, which are much more rigorous than for a minor development. The WPA complex exceeded the threshold by just 23 sq m.

Bowring added: “The planning process has been a big challenge to overcome and has taken a significant amount of resources to get to this point. I really hope that health and wellbeing projects like WPA Mansfield Padel Centre can be fast-tracked by the authorities so the infrastructure can be built to allow more people to enjoy and benefit from this wonderful game.”

The planning consultant on the scheme is Grace Machin and the scheme is being designed by CPMG Architects.

Padel is a form of tennis that played mainly in a doubles format on an enclosed court about a third of the size of a tennis court and can be played in groups of mixed ages and abilities, as it is not power dominant. The rules are broadly the same as tennis, although you serve underhand and the walls are used as part of the game with the ball allowed to bounce off them.

One of the fastest growing sports across continental Europe, padel has gained increasing popularity over recent years, with over six million people currently playing in Spain.

In 2022 a padel complex opened at Notts County’s Meadow Lane stadium.