University announces plans to build leisure centre at Bar End

The news comes as the city council reviews its plans for the River Park Leisure Centre

The news comes as the city council reviews its plans for the River Park Leisure Centre

First published in News
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Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Reporter

WINCHESTER civic chiefs have revealed the university wants to develop a sports centre on playing fields on the southern edge of the city.

Council leader Keith Wood, said vice chancellor Joy Carter confirmed she wants to develop land at Bar End currently owned by supermarket giant Tesco.

The news comes as the city council reviews its plans for the River Park Leisure Centre.

Cllr Wood, told cabinet that Prof Carter has written to him to say it “would be in a position to make a significant capital contribution to this scheme and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss further a possible development at Bar End.”

But some city councillors are not so sure the supermarket owners will sell the Garrison Ground so easily.

Cllr Chris Pines said: “My personal view is we get all the information first and we do not go into the decision making. The difficulty with a lot of people is making them aware of the different factors behind everything.

“We want to see the best option for the best deal we can get because it’s going to be very expensive.”

Civic chiefs met to discuss a shortlist of options for the replacement of the River Park Leisure Centre which also included building on the site currently occupied by the leisure centre or building on land currently occupied by the tennis courts, artificial pitch and the ‘minimum necessary additional land’ next to the courts.

Many residents had been angry that the council’s preferred option, a new site at North Walls, involved a loss of green space.

Cllr Keith Wood, chairman of the cabinet, said: “We have listened to the strongly voiced and there’s a strong argument for the relocation to provide high quality leisure facilities for the district.

“I will be writing to the chairman of Tesco to see if I can get a clearer answer from them,” he added.

“A final decision will be made later in this year and will be made by all 57 councillors and not by the cabinet.”

Members of the public raised concerns over the proposed rebuilding at the existing site citing the flooding issues that have troubled the district for the last fortnight but stated that the facilities desperately need updating.

Karen Barratt, a member of the public speaking at the meeting, said: “It would make no sense at all to refurbish the leisure centre where it is if it means increasing the footprint.

“When advice is taken on building on flood areas I don’t think it’s been taken quite seriously enough. When the weather gets better, if it ever gets better, and the water subsides I don’t want to feel this decision will be business as usual.”

Another member of public, Emma Back, of Fit for the Future pressure group, said: “It’s time for Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council and the University of Winchester, the key landowners, to do more for the future of sport for this district.”

A University of Winchester spokesman said yesterday: “The university already has extensive sports facilities at Bar End. The Winchester Sports Stadium already includes an athleticstrack with supporting facilities for field events, an all-weather pitch, complete with floodlighting, and a large pavilion offering changing rooms, showers and meeting room space.

“The cost of building at Bar End is yet to be determined, as there are a range of potential options to
cost. The university recognises that a collaboration with the city council and others would have the
potential to deliver an impressive suite of sports facilities, which would be an asset to the whole
community.”

Comments (3)

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11:17am Fri 21 Feb 14

wheresthemoneygone says...

Hold on - if the University wants to build sporting facilities why doesn't it do so on its own.As is typical it is trying to use public funds to further its interests whilst using any propaganda possible ( Fit for the Future - Emma Black, management consultant) to pursue their aims.

How much will the citizens of Winchester actually have to pay to support the University and what will be the actual ease and extent of usage of the facilities, should the University get what it wants? So far these questions are a long way from being adequately answered.

As we have seen in recent years this is just another example of public funds being frittered away for other interests.Pretending that you're making efforts for the public should not 'wash' and should be thoroughly scrutinized by all those institutions capable of doing so.
Hold on - if the University wants to build sporting facilities why doesn't it do so on its own.As is typical it is trying to use public funds to further its interests whilst using any propaganda possible ( Fit for the Future - Emma Black, management consultant) to pursue their aims. How much will the citizens of Winchester actually have to pay to support the University and what will be the actual ease and extent of usage of the facilities, should the University get what it wants? So far these questions are a long way from being adequately answered. As we have seen in recent years this is just another example of public funds being frittered away for other interests.Pretending that you're making efforts for the public should not 'wash' and should be thoroughly scrutinized by all those institutions capable of doing so. wheresthemoneygone
  • Score: 3

5:44pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Yves1977 says...

wheresthemoneygone wrote:
Hold on - if the University wants to build sporting facilities why doesn't it do so on its own.As is typical it is trying to use public funds to further its interests whilst using any propaganda possible ( Fit for the Future - Emma Black, management consultant) to pursue their aims. How much will the citizens of Winchester actually have to pay to support the University and what will be the actual ease and extent of usage of the facilities, should the University get what it wants? So far these questions are a long way from being adequately answered. As we have seen in recent years this is just another example of public funds being frittered away for other interests.Pretending that you're making efforts for the public should not 'wash' and should be thoroughly scrutinized by all those institutions capable of doing so.
Good points!
[quote][p][bold]wheresthemoneygone[/bold] wrote: Hold on - if the University wants to build sporting facilities why doesn't it do so on its own.As is typical it is trying to use public funds to further its interests whilst using any propaganda possible ( Fit for the Future - Emma Black, management consultant) to pursue their aims. How much will the citizens of Winchester actually have to pay to support the University and what will be the actual ease and extent of usage of the facilities, should the University get what it wants? So far these questions are a long way from being adequately answered. As we have seen in recent years this is just another example of public funds being frittered away for other interests.Pretending that you're making efforts for the public should not 'wash' and should be thoroughly scrutinized by all those institutions capable of doing so.[/p][/quote]Good points! Yves1977
  • Score: -3

9:50pm Fri 21 Feb 14

campfreddie says...

Yves1977 wrote:
wheresthemoneygone wrote:
Hold on - if the University wants to build sporting facilities why doesn't it do so on its own.As is typical it is trying to use public funds to further its interests whilst using any propaganda possible ( Fit for the Future - Emma Black, management consultant) to pursue their aims. How much will the citizens of Winchester actually have to pay to support the University and what will be the actual ease and extent of usage of the facilities, should the University get what it wants? So far these questions are a long way from being adequately answered. As we have seen in recent years this is just another example of public funds being frittered away for other interests.Pretending that you're making efforts for the public should not 'wash' and should be thoroughly scrutinized by all those institutions capable of doing so.
Good points!
Quite right. As I have been saying for a long time, if the University want to build something, then why don't they get together with Fitforthefuture and build something with private finding and not rely on the public purse to further their elitist aims? Good luck with negotiating with Tesco in purchasing the land. They'll want a premium for it as their Estates Department will be reading this Paper and will know that a certain minority sector want to build a Leisure Centre on this land. All the time that Fitforthefuture argue for a development funded by WCC on Tesco land will play into Tesco hands and drive the price of the land up. As a tax payer, I want to see a development that caters for the majority at the least cost. River Park is owned freehold by WCC, therefore nil land cost, all money to be spent on build cost. What price is the Tesco Land?
[quote][p][bold]Yves1977[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wheresthemoneygone[/bold] wrote: Hold on - if the University wants to build sporting facilities why doesn't it do so on its own.As is typical it is trying to use public funds to further its interests whilst using any propaganda possible ( Fit for the Future - Emma Black, management consultant) to pursue their aims. How much will the citizens of Winchester actually have to pay to support the University and what will be the actual ease and extent of usage of the facilities, should the University get what it wants? So far these questions are a long way from being adequately answered. As we have seen in recent years this is just another example of public funds being frittered away for other interests.Pretending that you're making efforts for the public should not 'wash' and should be thoroughly scrutinized by all those institutions capable of doing so.[/p][/quote]Good points![/p][/quote]Quite right. As I have been saying for a long time, if the University want to build something, then why don't they get together with Fitforthefuture and build something with private finding and not rely on the public purse to further their elitist aims? Good luck with negotiating with Tesco in purchasing the land. They'll want a premium for it as their Estates Department will be reading this Paper and will know that a certain minority sector want to build a Leisure Centre on this land. All the time that Fitforthefuture argue for a development funded by WCC on Tesco land will play into Tesco hands and drive the price of the land up. As a tax payer, I want to see a development that caters for the majority at the least cost. River Park is owned freehold by WCC, therefore nil land cost, all money to be spent on build cost. What price is the Tesco Land? campfreddie
  • Score: -2

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