WEST WICKHAM LEISURE AND LIBRARY REDEVELOPMENT
On the 21st May 2019, the options for the proposed redevelopment of West Wickham Leisure and Library facilities, were presented to the Council’s Executive Committee. This is a summary of those proposals plus some related points raised during WWRA Committee meetings. The proposed key dates at the time of going to press were that a public consultation exercise is proposed for July – December 2019, submission of a planning application is proposed for March – June 2020 and construction start is proposed for April 2021.
The full report, including indicative plans and pictures, can be found at www.bromley.gov.uk. In the search box enter DRR 19/027 then select the “Agenda document for Executive” and then go to page 127.
It is obvious already that these proposals will affect many residents and user groups both positively and negatively so it important that everyone has the opportunity to express their views.
The following options were presented to the executive for consideration with a recommendation for adopting option 2c:
Abandon redevelopment but there will still be on-going maintenance costs and over time the leisure centre is likely to become non-viable due to the condition of facilities.
A new leisure centre meeting Sports England requirements, i.e. a 25m pool instead of the existing 33m main pool, plus a small training pool, all at basement level. On the ground floor a reception, a new library with similar capacity to the existing one and a gym.
125 car parking spaces at basement and ground level, split between residential and leisure centre. Note: There are 65 spaces in the existing car park.
88 residential units with 20 at first floor level.
A new leisure centre meeting Sports England requirements, i.e. a 25m pool instead of the existing 33m main pool, plus a small training pool, all at ground floor level. On the first floor, a gym plus 7 residential units. 16 residential units per floor on subsequent floors to a total of 61 in the main building. 32 residential units in a separate building. A new library with similar capacity to the existing one.
95 car parking spaces all on the ground floor, the split between residential and leisure to be determined. Some public consultation has suggested that it could be managed by the leisure centre operator.
A new Leisure Centre and new library as above. 90 residential units comprising 58 in the main building and 32 in a separate building.
Activity Space to allow for activities currently taking place at the library and increased exercise and gym classes in the evening.
95 car parking spaces at ground floor level which could also be managed by the leisure centre operator.
Because option 2a requires the excavation of a basement, it is significantly more costly than options 2b and 2c where no basement is needed.
It is also proposed to redevelop the existing library site with 18 residential units. This will not take place until the new library in the Leisure Centre is open. There is nothing in the report to indicate how high the flats on the existing library site will be.
From the indicative drawings and pictures published by the Council, the proposals in 2a, 2b and 2c would appear to include 6 storey high buildings. By allowing six storey high buildings, we may be opening the flood gates to other developers applying for permission to build blocks to that height in the future. We know from past experience that the planning inspectorate will find it very difficult to refuse such applications once a precedent is set.
Members are urged to use the public consultation exercise to make their views known