Residents attend first public consultation on new Grimsby Leisure Centre
THE prospect of glimpsing a princess was not enough to stop concerned residents from attending a public consultation on the proposed design of the new Grimsby Leisure Centre.
A steady stream of interested members of the public attended the first of four sessions, which was held at Grimsby's Central Library.
As reported, the £8.4-million pool in Cromwell Road will eventually replace Grimsby Swimming Pool (Scartho Baths), which more than 9,500 people signed a petition to save after the closure was announced.
Those attending the meeting were not afraid to pull any punches when it came to expressing their views – chief of which were their beliefs that NELC is planning to build the facility in the wrong place and is failing to listen to their views.
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No one could miss Stuart Jaffray, who was sporting his 'protest hat' made of Save Scartho Baths posters.
He said: "It's about the money it's costing – who is going to pay for this?
"It's also out of the way. It's a long way from the car park to the door, which is no good for those who have disabilities.
"I can't criticise how it looks though, it looks good."
Chris Muir, of Grimsby, said: "I don't necessarily have reservations about getting a new pool – it's where it's being sited."
She added the cost of building the facility was also an issue – particularly at a time when the council is trying to save money.
"If money is that tight, why not refurbish Scartho Baths for £2 million. That will give it another 15 years of life.
"The financial position will then be a bit better."
Mrs Muir said she was also concerned about the "dilapidated" state of the rest of the Cromwell Road centre – adding the last time she had visited the centre with her 18-month-old granddaughter, it had been "a dump".
Sue Matthews, also of Grimsby, said one of her major concerns was the lack of access and public transport to the Cromwell Road site – particularly after 7pm.
She said: "During the day there are buses every 15 minutes, if you go into town or Dudley Street. After 7pm, there is only one an hour."
She also questioned what would happen to the old Scartho Baths site if the current building was developed.
Mark Cullum, a project manager for sport and leisure with NELC, was on hand to field questions and encourage people to give their feedback.
He explained if the Scartho site was demolished, it would be down to NELC's asset management team to decide how the land was used.
Speaking about the event, he said: "We started at noon and we have had a lot of interest.
"People here are passionate about leisure, and that's great."
He added the aim of the events were to collect as many views as possible to be taken into consideration before a formal planning application is considered.
The consultation moved to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre later in the day – see tomorrow's Grimsby Telegraph for coverage.
Have your say
Further consultation events will be held today. The first, at Scartho Baths, is from noon to 3pm, followed by a second session at Grimsby Auditorium, Cromwell Road, from 5pm to 8pm. If you cannot attend any of the sessions, you can give your views online at www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/sport-and-leisure until Friday, March 13. Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for updates.