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Westminster's concessions on Jubilee Sports Centre fail to quell community anger

PUBLISHED: 17:59 16 August 2012

Linda Taggart outside the open basketball courts at the Jubilee Sports Centre, with some of the young people who use the courts

Linda Taggart outside the open basketball courts at the Jubilee Sports Centre, with some of the young people who use the courts

Archant

Westminster Council's promise to provide a new sports centre for an estate has failed to quell anger over the demolition of their existing leisure centre.

The council will proceed with plans to tear down Jubilee Sports Centre in Caird Street to make way for a housing development, and redevelop Moberly Sports Centre in Kilburn Lane.

But after an outcry from Mozart Estate residents, the council has announced the new housing development will include a sports hall offering five-a-side football, badminton, basketball and community space.

Estate resident Linda Taggart believes this concession is not enough.

She said: “We are not satisfied. It’s still a housing development not a sports centre. Losing the pool is bad for elderly people and children who cannot walk to the new site safely.

“The people who use the new site will be able-bodied people, taking part in organised sports, who could walk to a centre further away.

“The land the Jubilee Centre is on has always been a public space, but now people are going to make a lot of money by taking it away from the community.”

Developer Willmott Dixon Regeneration is funding the £17million development of the Moberly Sports Centre - which is just over half a mile from the Jubilee Sports Centre site.

The new 6,000 square metre site will include a 25metre swimming pool and teaching pool, an eight-court sports hall, a boxing hall a fitness suite and a health spa.

They will fund the project with the money made from building 40 new homes on the Jubilee Sports Centre site.

Westminster Councillor Steve Summers, deputy cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, said: “We understand the concerns of the community regarding the loss of facilities at Jubilee and hope that the proposed new community sports hall, which comes as a direct response to feedback received from our consultation, will help to go a long way to answer those concerns.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders to ensure their views are taken on board as the proposals develop towards the planning stages.

“Few councils are in the position of being able to build multi-million new sports facilities in the current financial climate.

“We believe these proposals will give Westminster and Queen’s Park leading sports facilities and will be an impressive legacy following the Olympics.”

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