The Merimbula Squash Club will soon have new courts to call home.
Bega Valley Shire Councillors voted in favour of two motions on Wednesday that will allow for both the construction of a new facility at the Pambula Sporting Complex as well as the fitout, which will include three courts and moveable walls.
A modified DA is now on public display. Tenders for the courts had come back to council exceeding the allowed budget of $850,000, but staff recommended the councillors work with the lowest tenderer to reduce costs and have the building completed.
Both motions carried 7-2 with vocal support for the squash club and squash players in the Valley from Tony Allen, Mitchell Nadin and Kristy McBain.
Councillors Dodds and Griff voted against, with Cr Dodds vocal about rescinding her support for the construction of the courts, based on the capital outlay and the global trend of squash as a "sport in decline".
"I've been troubled with this process since supporting it in error," Cr Dodds said. "I'm concerned about the benefit of this amount of money spent."
Cr Nadin rebutted the claims, noting the Bega Squash Club's strong junior and senior membership numbers and that the area had hosted the Australian Open of Squash.
"The thing I love about squash is its accessibility, I encourage you to vote for this, I think this is an excellent project - this is exactly the sort of thing we should be investing our money in," he said.
He said the new courts would allow the Merimbula Squash Club to vie for competitions of similar standing.
Cr Kristy McBain said the construction of the courts had been something of a "political football" since she was voted to council in 2012 and she praised the patience of the squash club.
"This will be a wonderful addition to the Pambula Sporting Complex at Pambula Beach ... it adds substantially to the master plan we'll be building on," she said.
"There are a number of people keen to see it get underway and they've been supportive and patient."
Cr Allen echoed the sentiment saying a vote for the affirmative on Wednesday would bring to an end an ongoing commitment of councils to provide the new courts.
"We can reach a decision today and the people who want to use it will use it and enjoy it," he said, while also commending the patience "of the people of Merimbula and the squash club".
Squash club president Matt Fanning had earlier made a deposition to councillors and thanked the current council for its efforts to see the new courts reach fruition.
"We see it as a bit of a watershed time for the club, and hopefully brings to fruition from today the past commitments," he said.