LOCAL squash players are outraged at council plans to drastically cut the number of courts in the borough.

Harrow Squash Club is furious only two courts have been included in the plans for the new £36million leisure centre, compared with eight in the existing centre.

Ramesh Patel, who has been a club member for 15 years, said: "I'm absolutely livid. It's outrageous. This is the only place with squash courts in Harrow.

"There should be more support for sports with the Olympics coming, but Harrow seems to be taking that support away."

Ravindar Grewal has long been a club member and now brings his children to play squash at the centre in Christchurch Avenue.

He said he thinks the club may have to close if court numbers are reduced.

He said: "It beggars belief. We have such good juniors coming through, and I wonder what the future is going to be for them.

"They will have nowhere to go and will just stop playing."

Professionals Carla Khan, Farjan Rasheed and Middlesex under 19 number one Nikhil Shah are among the regulars at Harrow Squash Club.

The players say all eight courts are booked up on a regular basis.

Nikhil said: "We're happy with what we've got.

"You don't know how long a delay there will be between losing these courts and getting the new ones.

"There's no problem with them at the moment."

Andrew Trehern, corporate director for community and environment, defended the council's plans to only build two courts.

He said: "We understand there may be some concern there will not be enough squash courts in the new leisure centre.

"We believe these outline plans give the best option for the whole of the community and also in terms of affordability."

Mr Trehern said the council is now going to consult with users of the leisure centre on the plans.

But the club, which has not yet been consulted about the new leisure centre, has already been in touch with Harrow Council, asking it to reconsider the plans.

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