AN INCREASINGLY popular form of tennis normally only found in Spanish-speaking countries could be coming to Wembley.

Five padel tennis courts - three of them covered by a canopy - and a clubhouse are being proposed for the site of the former Palace of Industry to the west of Olympic Way in Wembley, according to a planning application submitted to Brent Council on December 17.

The applicant, the Padel England Association, a non-for-profit organisation dedicated to the development and promotion of the sport, said there are 17 courts on six sites across the UK, including the first dedicated facility in the Docklands, and that this would be the second.

Best known in Mexico, Spain and Argentina, padel tennis is played exclusively as a doubles discipline and takes place in a glass-walled court about half the size of a lawn tennis court. The racquets are perforated bats, and players can hit the ball off any wall and must serve underarm.

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Erik De Wit, founder in 2010, and chief executive of the Padel England Association, said: “Wembley was chosen because of the great project of the regeneration of Wembley as well as the fact that it’s known for the spectating side of sport but not for the participation side.

“There’s not a massive amount of sports facilities and padel is a sport that is very easy to get in to - you just pick up a racquet and start playing.

“It’s a hybrid of squash, real tennis and tennis, although unlike tennis, padel tennis is not dominated by strength as you have to read the bounce of the ball off the walls, and since it’s always doubles, it’s a very social game.”

The padel tennis complex would open from 7am to 11pm daily and the clubhouse, boasting showers, changing facilities, a cafe, a reception and a small shop, would be created out of a refurbished and relocated pre-fabricated marketing suite used by landowner and developer Quintain Estates.

The remaining 162 sqm of the building would provide a complementary retail or community facility managed by Quintain Estates.

Mr De Wit said: “The first couple of months we will be running free slots during the day and we’ll invite schools in as part of PE lessons.

“After that we will offer the courts for hire to the public as part of a rental scheme and people can book the courts on a hourly basis, and the balls and racquets will be available to hire for free.”

Brent Council has been told the padel tennis facility is intended as a temporary structure for up to 10 years while the remainder of the land around Wembley Stadium is redeveloped.