Fears raised over future of town rec

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THE town’s new leisure centre could pose a threat to Whitehall Recreation Ground, a political group have warned.

Rugby Liberal Democrats are worried the historic park could be ruined if care is not taken when it is used as an access point to the new facility.

The new leisure centre will replace the existing Ken Marriott centre when it opens in summer 2013.

The build will also mean the loss of the outdoor paddling pool while the skate park will be rebuilt in Featherbed Lane in Hillmorton this autumn.

Cllr Neil Sandison said: “I’ve received quite a few comments from people concerned about the skate park and the paddling pool.

“These are free services that people obviously want protecting.

“We are also concerned that little thought has been given to Whitehall Recreation Ground itself.

“This is one of the oldest recreation grounds in the country, having been established in 1874.

We would love to see the park brought back to its former glory and not merely used as a convenient access point to the sports centre.”

Residents and other stake holders have until September 28 to comment on the plans.

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The Ken Marriot Leisure Centre is at the end of its life and the choice we have is between replacing it with a new leisure centre, or not having a leisure centre at all.

“To accommodate the new leisure centre we will relocate the existing skate park to the park at Featherbed Lane this autumn, and we have involved skate park users in this decision.

“The paddling pool, which is difficult and expensive for us to maintain and is rarely used, will unfortunately need to be removed to accommodate a temporary car park.

“Once the new leisure centre has been completed we will look at how we can make further improvements to Whitehall Recreation Ground.”

There will be a displays of the plans at the next Community Forums at St George’s Church, St John’s Avenue, Hillmorton Road on September 13 and in the Community Room at The Griffin, Kingsway on September 20.

The plans are also available on the borough council’s website.