Leisure Centre FAQs

Ref No.

Query and Response

1.

Will the new leisure centre pose a flood risk? Any new buildings constructed on Staines Park will be designed to reduce the risks of flooding. This should result in an improvement for the wider area. A flood risk assessment would be submitted as part of any planning application.

2.

Sweeps Ditch is important for biodiversity. What will happen to Sweeps Ditch? Ecological surveys will be a part of the application. The intention is to retain and enhance its biodiversity and the habitat's qualities.

3.

What will happen to the footpaths? Will we lose access points to the park? We know how important the pedestrian routes across the park are for the local community. Much of the park will remain as public, open space with footpaths and pedestrian access retained or enhanced. For example, we will ensure that local schools, routes to the railway station and the town centre can still be freely accessed through the park. As the space would become managed during opening hours, it would benefit from greater security and cleanliness.

4.

Will there be new homes built on the existing leisure centre site? The site is a brownfield site and the provision of housing is both a central and local government priority. Therefore, it is possible that this may be developed in future years.

5.

Will the Council be making a profit by selling the current leisure centre site?

No. The construction costs for the proposed new leisure centre will be significantly greater than the value of the current leisure centre site. This site is not up for sale and we have no intention of selling it, as some have suggested. If the site is developed in the future, the Council would retain ownership.

6.

Will trees be cut down? Trees will form an important part of the design and any loss of trees during construction will be limited as much as possible. Replacement planting will ensure no net loss of trees. Our objective is to retain as many trees as possible particularly around the perimeter of the site so views into the site are filtered and the park setting is respected. This will enhance the proposed development as well as the street scene.

7.

What will happen to the Bowling Club? We are working with them to seek alternative locations.

8.

Is the model engineers' society affected? No, it is a significant distance from the proposed location.

9.

Will there be high rise buildings built on Staines Park? No. There will be no high-rise buildings on Staines Park. If we proceed, we have no intention of building anything else on the park other than the proposed leisure centre buildings and associated pitches.

10.

Will the Council building be demolished? Absolutely not. Our Council Office will remain where it is and will not be sold.

11.

Will Knowle Green day nursery be affected? No, this is not part of the proposals. We are, however, engaging with the nursery to ensure that they understand our overall plans.

12.

Will the Scout hut be affected? No, this is not part of the proposals. We are, however, engaging with 6th Staines Scouts to ensure that they understand our overall plans.

13.

Can the council refurbish the existing leisure centre? We have looked at this and it is not cost effective. Nor is the site big enough to provide the range of facilities now needed to meet current and future customer leisure requirements. The existing centre is nearing its 'use-by' date and condition surveys have indicated that a considerable investment would be needed to extend its life beyond 2021. A refurbished centre would have a more limited lifespan, be less efficient and not offer the same range of facilities as a new-build centre. We therefore need to progress plans to build a new facility that is fit for purpose and user expectations for the next 30-40 years.

14.

How much is a new leisure centre going to cost? We will not know the exact cost until we know what range of facilities is going to be included. When we do know, we will be as transparent as we can about this, subject to rules around commercial sensitivity.

15.

How much of Staines Park will be used? If the leisure centre and sports pitches are built as proposed there would still be 3.08 hectares of freely accessible green space in Staines Park. To put this into context, the freely accessible green space in Lammas Park is 3.33 hectares.

16.

Will the questionnaire results be made public? Yes. The analysis of the questionnaire will form part of the Statement of Community Involvement, which is necessary as part of a planning application. Once anonymised, in adherence with data protection laws, this information would be open to the public. No personal details will be released.

17.

Have other sites been looked at and if so which ones? A site between the Council Offices and the existing Leisure Centre was considered but was assessed as too small. Other Council owned sites were also assessed and ruled out for various reasons. The site currently proposed was identified as the most viable because it is owned by the Council, not on Green Belt, large enough to accommodate a new leisure centre, close to the existing one and easily accessible, including by public transport.

18.

Has an environmental impact assessment been done? No, it is highly unlikely that one will be required. However, before design work starts we will be consulting with Planners.

19.

Will a new leisure centre cause an increase in traffic? Enhanced facilities may result in a little more traffic although because of its central location, close to good public transport links, this should be minimal. We will be working to ensure it does not affect residents in adjacent residential roads. The Highways authority will be consulted as part of any planning application and a traffic assessment undertaken. As with the current leisure centre, vehicle access will only be from Knowle Green.

20.

Can the tennis courts be kept? Although it is likely that some form of free outdoor sport provision will be available, it is unlikely that the tennis courts will remain as we have enough courts elsewhere in the borough to meet local needs. For example, there are three free-to-use tennis courts at Lammas Park and other courts at Fordbridge Park.

21.

Do the proposed facilities mix meet future demands? That is certainly our aspiration. Feedback on the consultation will help ensure this.

22.

Will there be squash facilities, if so will they be an improvement on the existing ones in terms of quality and number of courts? The mix of facilities is something that is part of the consultation.

23.

Will the 3G (all weather) pitches be floodlit? Possibly, so that they can be used in all seasons. We will ensure that any lighting is designed to minimise light pollution and the effects on nearby properties.

24.

Do we actually have a say in this, or has the leisure centre been decided on? We want to get as much feedback as possible and are welcoming comments on every aspect of the proposal and all feedback will be fully considered and taken into consideration when we decide how to proceed. It is not a done deal. We do however think it will be an asset that will benefit the community. We are keen to provide the best possible facilities to our residents.