Council to reconsider location for new leisure centre

Spelthorne Borough Council has announced that it is going to once again explore alternative sites for its proposed new Leisure Centre in light of public opposition to the location on Staines Park.

The team at Keeble Brown, the company appointed to run the consultation on behalf of the Council, are still analysing the responses. However, early indications are that, whilst there are many that support the principle of a new leisure centre, there are a large number of people who strongly object to the proposed location.

Council Leader Cllr Ian Harvey has therefore directed that the project team goes back to the drawing board on assessing the location to include looking again at all potential alternatives.

Cllr Harvey said: "We are getting the message loud and clear that there are a lot of residents who, for a variety of reasons, are strongly opposed to the proposed location on Staines Park. I have therefore given an unambiguous direction to the project team to go back to the drawing board in relation to seeking a potential alternative site. We intend to do a thorough analysis of all options, whether or not they have previously been ruled out for one reason or another. I have said before and I will say again, this is not a done deal - nothing is decided".

Cllr Maureen Attewell, Portfolio Holder for Community and Wellbeing, said: "I'd like to emphasise the Council's appreciation for the public's response to the early stage proposals for a new leisure centre. This has provided the Council with much needed insights into the concerns of residents and other stakeholders. The consultation has given Councillors an invaluable understanding of what residents most value about their community and this is now being used to help the council's project team understand the sort of compromises that are an essential part of delivering a successful leisure centre. I would like to reassure residents that our only aim is to provide modern, accessible and energy efficient leisure facilities for the whole of the community that will last well into the future and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of residents".

The Council will be consulting further with residents in due course once it has re-considered all options and the first round of consultation responses have been analysed in detail. There is no specific timescale for this - it will take as long as necessary.