Delay plans for Andover Leisure Centre Closure for full Public Consultation
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Andover Leisure Centre is earmarked for closure at the beginning of April 2017 whilst a new leisure centre is built. This could take approximately 2 years. The council have not consulted with the public on plans or put any alternative provisions in place.
The council are investigating the building of a temporary pop up pool. The location being discussed has already had other projects rejected due to it being on a flood risk area. This could require expensive building measures to compensate and take 4-6 months to complete.
The community will be left with no sports facilities nearby leaving businesses, groups, residents and children attending swimming lessons, gymnastics, trampolining, badminton, table tennis nowhere to go for a 2 year period.
The new centre is proposed to be smaller than the existing facilities which already have long waiting lists for swimming lessons and clubs alike. Andover is a rapidly growing town with hundreds and hundreds of new houses being built, further increasing the need to build a facility that will be fit for purpose and the growing community for decades to come.
The closure will force residents to travel between 20-40 miles to alternative facilities.
Swimming is part of the national curriculum for key stage 1 & 2 school children so how will they access this element of the curriculum in the meantime? Swimming is a life saving skill that many children may now lose.
We aren't rejecting plans to refurbish or rebuild the facilities, indeed they do need to be improved. However, due to the lack of public consultation we request that the final planning application is delayed whilst a full consultation and engagement with local residents is undertaken. We request that the facilities remain open until TVBC can establish alternative satisfactory arrangements for the community.
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