10 August 2008

Pools Public Meeting - 21st August

Information from Councillor Chris Best:

Public Meeting 7pm Thursday 21 August at the Forest Hill Methodist Church and Centre on Normanton Rd SE23

As a recap - in February 2008 the Mayor of Lewisham approved the redevelopment of the Forest Hill Pools and Louise House site in order to bring new leisure facilities to the area. The Stakeholder Group (an inclusive Group of the key stakeholders including representatives from the Sydenham and Forest Hill Societies, swimmers, schools, residents and traders) held their first meeting in May. At the June meeting the group considered how we can redevelop the space next to Forest Hill's Grade II listed library and considered the feasibility and housing options from the consultants, HLM. The Council is currently consulting local residents on the three concepts that have been produced for the development of a new leisure centre including a six-lane 25-metre pool, learner pool and associated dry leisure and community facilities.

An exhibition was on display at People's Day on 12 July and the full exhibition was outside Forest Hill station on Friday and Saturday 18-19 July following the delivery of 20,000 flyers to homes in Forest Hill, Perry Vale and Sydenham wards. You can view the background papers and options online and take part in the survey at http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/foresthillpools. The exhibition was running at Forest Hill library until 8 August with residents providing feedback on the printed forms on the three options, range of facilities and other comments.

Focus groups are taking place with 'seldom heard groups' in accordance with the Council's consultation strategy, and further active consultation is taking place with local schools, businesses, and swimming clubs. Council officers have offered to meet with representatives from both the Forest Hill and Sydenham Societies in addition to their ongoing involvement with the Forest Hill Pools Stakeholder Group.

As an adjunct to the consultation programme a public meeting has been arranged for Thursday 21 August at the Forest Hill Methodist Church and Centre on Normanton Rd SE23. The meeting will run from 7pm to 9pm.

The evening will include a presentation on the background to the Mayor's decision and will give local residents the opportunity to speak to local councillors and leisure officers about the current proposals. The exhibition which details the three development options will be available, and Council staff will be present to answer queries and to gather feedback on the options that have been presented as part of the consultation.

The Stakeholder Group will be meeting at the end of August to review the feedback from the consultation. Comments from the Stakeholder Group will be included in the report to Mayor and Cabinet on 17 September which is an open meeting starting at 6.30pm at the Town Hall in Catford. The tender for the architects is running in parallel with the consultation so that work on the design can progress once the option is agreed.

We look forward to seeing you on 21 August. If you have any queries about the meeting please contact Hilary Renwick on 8314 6359 - hilary.renwick@lewisham.gov.uk or contact Cllr Chris Best or Cllr John Russell who will be co-chairing the public meeting.

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