11 February 2009

Forest Hill Society to back Option 2

The Forest Hill Society Executive met last night to consider their position on the pools options presented to stakeholders last week.

There was a very strong preference for option 2 which maximises the leisure offered and keeps swimming in the current location in Forest Hill. We are pleased that this plan includes the retention of the pools frontage and believe that it will benefit both Forest Hill town centre and the Kirkdale area where new housing could be built. We recognise that there will be some difficulty in building housing in the Willow Way site, but believe that a solution must be found to move forward with option 2.

Option 3 was particularly disliked as providing a pool in the wrong location, in a back road close to a commercial zone where large van use a narrow road. It is outside Forest Hill town centre, leaving the library isolated in a residential area and having a detrimental effect on retail on Dartmouth Road. The Willow Way site is also significantly further from train stations and main town centres leading to an increased use of cars to travel to the pool, where car parking in not readily available.

These views are supported by local residents who in a poll on SE23.com back option 2 by 75% to 20% for option 1, and less than 5% for option 3 (based on a total of 70 responses over 3 days).

The mayor and cabinet will be considering the options on 25th February. This meeting, at Lewisham Town Hall, is open to the public to observe and we hope that local people will show their support for swimming in Forest Hill and for option 2 by attending the meeting.

Update: The full response by the Forest Hill Society can be read here.

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