On Thursday October 14, two council staff met with some of the 50-plus club at BBH to discuss the new plans. They were keen to point out all the extra activities we would be able to do with a new FLEXIBLE design.
Actually many of us do not believe the plans will cater for all the existing activities as some spaces are too small eg the Studio(s), and some ‘multiple use’ proposals such as table tennis in the badminton hall don’t work at present so why would they in the future.
As one of the largest user groups, 50-plus have been active in campaigning ever since the building was threatened with demolition and closure.
However we are not only looking after our own interests, we want the replacement building or others to fulfill all the current users needs. In particular the council should replace the indoor athletic facilities used by many younger people in the space currently known as ‘the Tube’. This space is also currently used flexibly for table tennis, trampolining and archery etc.
If flexibility is such a feature of the the new building then why can’t HDC build a Tube size space for the future generations, with dividers if necessary as they already plan for the smaller spaces?
One reason HDC have made in the past for not replacing the Tube is that they are only looking to deliver something for Horsham District users, not for those from further afield. Apparently, we have a great facility but let’s not replace it in case outsiders use it!
HDC is inconsistent in this approach, just consider the following - HDC is to build houses for all and sundry districts which they are not reciprocating, HDC is going to retain the indoor bowls centre used by many from outside the district, any ice rink users and many swimmers go outside the district (do we think Guildford etc should ban them?).
It’s time HDC acknowledged the National Planning Policy Framework legislation which requires the council to provide equivalent or better replacement facilities for all of the sport and recreation activities currently on the site.
ANNE HEADS (Mrs)
Sloughbrook Close, Horsham
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