Mr and Mrs Michael Bell of Bronte Drive, Ledbury, says don’t let leisure facility crumble (From Hereford Times)
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Mr and Mrs Michael Bell of Bronte Drive, Ledbury, says don’t let leisure facility crumble
3:00pm Friday 6th July 2012 in Letters
REGULAR users of the pool and gym facilities in Ledbury should be aware that on November 25, 2010, a meeting of the Leisure Ledbury customer forum took place, at which it was reported that excessive condensation in the roof space of the pool because of defective circulation units was leading to rotting of the building structure.
If no action is taken the building may have to be closed due to health and safety in the next three years.
To date, nothing has been done, nor is any work planned.
The recent refusal of planning consent for Sainsbury’s store in the New Mills area has been linked with a desire to develop the Lawnside area (which includes the pool building) as a retail park and one wonders whether the dragging of heels regarding the necessary attention to the building’s predicament is linked in some way to this outlandish plan.
We have been Ledbury residents for 11 years and during this time we have used the pool facilities several times a week and know the area around it.
In contrast, the site proposed by Sainsbury’s is on the bypass, convenient for deliveries and for customers to go there by car. There is already an industrial estate there, so it is not exactly a green field site. We live near the site on a large housing estate which at present has no shops.
It really is a mystery why permission was not granted in February.
Narrow approach roads mean there would be total traffic chaos if more cars wanted access to the Lawnside part of town.
There is a historic pub next to the ambulance station which would be in the midst of the development or is it proposed that this is knocked down?
The community hall is opposite the pool. What are the proposals for this? It is used a great deal for community activities and as a polling station at election time.
Moving the telephone exchange would entail great expense, not to mention disruption to our phone and broadband services.
There is housing opposite the pool, which would directly face the site.
At least here on Bronte Drive we have a screen of trees which Sainsbury’s proposed to enhance.
Two businesses might be affected, as the footprint of a supermarket and car park covers a large area.
All in all, the cost of clearing this area and rebuilding would amount to far more than using the area on the industrial estate proposed by Sainsbury’s.
Last, but certainly not least, the pool and gym facilities are invaluable to the town, and in our case was one of the reasons why we came to live here. Once lost, it is doubtful whether it would be rebuilt, and if it was, it could be on the outskirts of town and not in the heart of it as now.
We need to be aware of decisions being taken, or in this case not being taken, on our behalf. It is up to Ledbury residents to decide what we want and to lobby those who would not be in a position of power but for our vote to act in our best possible interests.
MR AND MRS MICHAEL BELL, Bronte Drive, Ledbury.