The ‘Westminster Chronicle’ reports;
“Residents continue to fight against proposals to close a swimming pool in the heart of Queen’s Park.
Save the Jubilee campaign is galvanizing for one final push before Westminster Council submits its final planning application this month.
Users of Jubilee Sports Centre in the Queen’s Park Estate have battled for nearly two years against proposals to close the centre and invest £19million to improve facilities at Moberly Sports Centre, a mile away in Kilburn Lane which lies just across the borough boundary in Brent.
The council, which runs both, said it could not justify two sports centre in the same ward but was committed to improving facilities at one site for Queen’s Park, one of the poorest parts of the borough.
After a concerted campaign and a petition of more than 5,000 signatures, councillors revised plans last summer to retain a community hall and three-court sports hall at the Queen’s Park site.
Developer Willmott Dixon has proposed to build 81 homes on the Queen’s Park site, including replacing an existing 12 affordable properties, and build a further 75 at Moberly to cover the full cost of building the new centres.
The improved Moberly centre will feature an eight-court sports hall with seating for 500 spectators, a 25-metre six-lane pool, a health and fitness suite, three dance studios, a boxing hall and cafe.
Emily Engel, a campaign committee member, said: “We have around 500 people on our mailing list from pensioners to disabled people, families that don’t want the extra crowds and extra distance at Moberly.
“I’m happy with the idea of having more resources for this community because it’s a very needy community but the point the council is not putting them in this community but putting them in Brent.
“Parents can send their kids to Jubilee straight from the estate without having to cross any roads. Moberly is on a very congested road with several bus routes.”
Alison Gale, project manager from the council’s sport, leisure and wellbeing team, said the authority had worked hard to respond to residents’ concerns.
“We want to improve facilities in Queen’s Park where they are most needed,” she said. “The consultation took 18 months, it’s been the biggest free planning any council has ever done before.
“The community felt very strongly about losing all community facilities at the Jubilee site so we revised the plans to retain some.
“We have really responded to people’s concerns as much as possible. There will be a 37 per cent increase in sports provision for the Queen’s Park area. It’s a redevelopment and improvement scheme, it’s not about closures.”
If planning consent is granted, Moberly would shut next summer for the two-year works, at the end of which upgrades would commence at Jubilee.”
If you would like to comment on the Jubilee planning application, it can be viewed here:
The application reference is: 13/12250/FULL
For further information on the proposals, please visit: http://www.westminster.gov.uk/activequeenspark