RESIDENTS who campaigned to keep a set of free public tennis courts away from the bulldozers were celebrating this week after plans to develop the Hereford site were withdrawn.

The Hereford Times last year reported the concerns of many living in the Westfields area of the city who were upset that the courts off Grandstand Road could be ripped up if a joint application by Herefordshire Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to extend the nearby Three Elms Trading Estate were approved.

But, residents and local councillors said this week that they have received confirmation that the plans have been withdrawn.

"It's such brilliant news - we're over the moon," said Sue Jones, secretary of Grandstand Road Residents Association.

"My seven-year-old son Richard is at the courts all of the time - he loves it.

"He was waiting there at 8.30am on Sunday to play a game and runs home to get some spare rackets to give to people.

"I want to thank everyone who wrote a letter and the children who drew pictures to try and stop the plans."

Councillor Charles Nicholls, ward councillor for Three Elms, said that the community should be commended for what they have done.

"I have no doubt that the accumulation of evidence both in writing and participation on the courts over the past 12 months has convinced Sport England that these courts are a valuable and important amenity and essential to the wellbeing and future of our children," he added.

Hereford MP Jesse Norman said the news was a win for "people power" and the aim now is to make the whole area better.

Anyone who wants to borrow a tennis racquet can call Sue Jones on 07743 102940.