6 July 2013…..BHCC has been under considerable pressure to get the ball rolling on replacing the 1938/9 King Alfred leisure centre on the Kingsway in Hove. The cold dread of repeating the Karis/Frank Gehry experience haunts us all. The memory of Citygrove before them, at the end of the 20th century, has not faded either. Both achieved planning consent; neither’s proposals were wanted by residents and both foundered financially so their planning consents withered away.
A report outlining what the minimum and maximum expectations for a new leisure centre would include comes to Policy & Resources Committee on Thursday, 11th July 2013. Expectations are modest. No 50m swimming pool. 25m is considered more appropriate. It also includes acceptance of the possibility of relocating from the existing site. It accepts the possibility of putting it somewhere else….and some of us want that to be close to Hove Station within one of the HUGE redevelopment areas currently available. On the other hand a number of saveHOVE supporters would be appalled if a redevelopment was not kept on the present site.
POLICY & RESOURCES AGENDA DOCUMENTS
1. Read the main report here
2. Read the Specifications in Appendix 1 here
3. Appendix 2: The 2001-2008 time line (Karis/Gehry scheme) here4. Appendices 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are witheld from public view and will be considered in Part 2
The greatest single argument for choosing to relocate to the Hove Station area is public transport and a more central location within Hove from which to access and use a Hove-based leisure centre. Many major bus routes pass nearby (Sackville Road, Blatchington Road, Goldstone Villas, there is the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, Station taxi rank and trains. It is walkable for far more people than the Kingsway site too. A rich public transport hub that is underused and which offers access to those without cars or who wish to avoid parking costs.
In discussions with saveHOVE last year concerning their proposed scheme for the redevelopment of the Conway Street bus depot and surrounding area, a plea was made to MATSIM’s Andy Lambor to consider adding a leisure centre into their proposals. Sadly their original plans had been put together in a way that fell foul of the emerging City Plan and they never submitted their planning application. Not all saveHOVE supporters agree with this position. Esplanade residents want the redevelopment to be on the same site – mostly, one suspects because they use the pool and like having it on their doorstep and definitely because of the fear of a massive housing development going there.
The Argus reports that MATSIM’s Andy Lambor has discussed this with BHCC. Hurrah! Read the Argus report here