SIR: Ann Gildersleve’s letter (Chronicle, July 9) makes ironic reading, reiterating arguments made at the time of the decision to build a new leisure centre at Bar End. As it was, Save Our Rec campaigners prevented any proposal to extend the footprint of the recreation centre into the park.

Rebuilding at River Park is an opportunity to add to Winchester’s amenities. I myself would replace the pool with small practice, performance and exhibition spaces for local youth and community arts groups - art, music, theatre, comedy.

However, we need something to support the park and encourage its use, otherwise Save Our Rec campaigners’ efforts may prove counter-productive. I would retain some sports facilities - a sports hall, changing rooms, public toilets, gyms, and build a new cafe-bar, ideally with an outdoor section with views over the park.

A new building at River Park can serve a range on needs. We don’t need a concert hall or something to compete with facilities we already have. Remember the Discovery Centre revamp and the closure of the Tower Arts Centre, and Southampton’s short-lived new theatre and the closure of the Nuffield at the university. There many examples of grand plans that backfire.

Richard Evans,

Fordington Avenue,