Public called to speak up about Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre’

JPCT-08-02-12 Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, BBH, sign S12060817a -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT-08-02-12 Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, BBH, sign S12060817a -photo by Steve Cobb

HORSHAM District Council has confirmed it will be asking the public about the future of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre in a consultation starting on Saturday.

There has already been opposition expressed by many of the user groups since last week’s announcement of the options being considered for the site.

More detail about the Live Facebook chat and reaction from the public will be published in tomorrow County Times.

The council released the following statement on Wednesday morning:

THE public is being asked to give its views on the future options for Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, near Horsham.

Horsham District Council will soon be making a decision about the future of the Council owned leisure centre and to help do so is asking for the public’s views.

A period of public consultation about a way forward will begin on 5 May with a deadline for comments of June 5 2012.

The consultation - which comes after the production of a business case for the Council along with the publication of a draft planning document for the site - follows ongoing dialogue with the leisure centre’s users and others.

Meetings continue with the Broadbridge Heath Joint User Group, of which members include Blue Star Harriers, Horsham Joggers, HAODS, Theatre 48, 50+ Club, Horsham Arun Badminton Club, and Broadbridge Heath Football Club.

Four options have been identified in the business case as the most suitable way forward and it is these that the public is being asked to give its opinion on. The public is being encouraged to respond online from May 5 at to give its views.

The options include:

Option 4: Re-provision of a new smaller leisure centre providing ‘essential’ facilities and retaining the Indoor Bowls Club in its current location. Estimated cost £1.81m.

Option 5: Same as Option 4, but also includes provision for a new ‘desirable’ athletics track albeit in an alternative location. Estimated cost £2.96m.

Option 6: Re-provision of a new leisure centre providing ‘essential’ facilities and which incorporates a new 6 rink indoor bowls facility and cafe. Estimated cost £4.85m

Option 7: Same as Option 6, but also includes provision for a ‘desirable’ athletics track albeit in an alternative location. Estimated cost £6m.

Most options either re-provide or relocate to alternative sites those activities currently taking place at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.

However, the council is working with some of the users of the site, such as the theatre groups, to ensure they have a viable way forward and are currently exploring the introduction of a District Arts and Drama Fund which may help the process.

The Council will also work alongside local athletics groups to secure additional funding via national/sporting bodies where this is possible.

There will be a series of public exhibitions at Steyning and Billingshurst Leisure Centres, The Pavilions in The Park (Horsham), Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre and The Capitol Theatre in Horsham and two public meetings to explain the options will take place on Wednesday May 16 and Monday May 21 at The Capitol Theatre, North Street, Horsham at 6pm.

Full information about the consultation will be available from May 5 on the council’s website or by calling 01403 215259.

Background information about the future of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, including the business case and other Council reports, can be found online on the consultation webpage

The results of the survey which will determine the preferred way forward will be used by councillors at the full Council meeting on Wednesday 27 June at 6pm.

The Council meeting on 27 June will take place in the Council Chamber at Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham and will be open to the public.

Jonathan Chowen, Cabinet Member for Arts, Heritage and Leisure at Horsham District Council, said: “We would very much encourage the public to participate in this consultation exercise which will help inform Councillors to make a decision in June on the way forward for Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.

“Please use this as an opportunity to have your say.”