LETTER: surplus? Hard to believe

SO A CONSULTANT’S report has deemed that Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre is ‘surplus to requirements’. As a regular user of the centre during the last ten years, I find this very hard to believe.

It is usually very busy when I visit, and when the thousands of additional homes are built in the area it would be natural to expect it to become busier still.

The range of facilities available at BBH is not available anywhere else in the area. I’m a member of two clubs that train regularly at BBH and there are many others, from casual users to athletes training to compete at a high level.

The consultants may believe that the facilities at Worthing and Crawley are superior. However for many users these are not viable alternatives as they are too far away both in distance and the travel time. In addition those facilities also seem to already be overcapacity during peak periods, as it’s often difficult to park at K2.

In this age of concern over the environment and growing obesity levels, it’s hard to see how HDC can justify a decision that will either increase the distance that people need to drive to do their sport or fitness activities, or possibly prevent them doing those activities at all!

It will be interesting to see when HDC publishes the report so that we can all understand the rationale and logic behind its decision. When it does, I trust it will be better publicised than the cabinet meeting, which most of us only learned about when it was too late. It was also held at a time when many people would be not be back from work.

I also hope that the council has much more open consultation with the public before finalising its decision, although based on its actions so far it will probably try to avoid it.

The suspicion has to be that this closure has been planned for a long time. This would help explain why the leisure centre was allowed to fall into such a state that apparently it is ‘basically shot’ (as described by Robert Nye in the County Times) after only 25 years in service.

If it really is ‘shot’, we need an explanation as to what went wrong with the building (or the management of it), and how the council will prevent such waste to the local community in future. Robert Nye and the council can be assured that they will see sustained opposition to this proposal.

STEVE WIGMORE

Dickins Way, Horsham