Lodge row latest

PUBLISHED: 10:51 29 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

SIR – I write in response to the letter to the editor from Rona Mills (Herts Advertiser, October 8) regarding the planned new Westminster Lodge sporting facility. I, like many St Albans residents, have been waiting very patiently for many years for new s

SIR - I write in response to the letter to the editor from Rona Mills (Herts Advertiser, October 8) regarding the planned new Westminster Lodge sporting facility. I, like many St Albans residents, have been waiting very patiently for many years for new swimming and sporting facilities - the current Westminster Lodge is long over due for replacement.

To finally have a public regulation 25m pool will be a milestone from which many will benefit. Although not including diving, the plan does incorporate in addition a sports hall, badminton courts, gym and climbing wall - and a café, which is a good mixture of facilities. The council should be applauded for finally moving this proposal forward. Just get it built as soon as possible!

ANDREW ELLIS

Kings Road, St Albans

SIR - I am dismayed to see the negative responses to the new swimming and sports centre for Westminster Lodge.

During the 20 years I have lived in St Albans, such disagreement usually only leads to one thing - the scheme fails. There is never any alternative and yet again St Albans is left without the facility the general public wants.

Need I mention the cinema (lots of disagreement, no cinema), the partial enclosure of the Maltings (lots of negativity so on a wet day Watford looks a much more appealing place for shopping). I could go on.

St Albans needs this new facility. And yes, the proposal does not please everyone but please can we not let the dissenters shelve yet another project.

St Albans swimming club competes in the First Divisiion of the Arena league but cannot hold its own galas here. The club has to go to other towns and hire their pools instead.

But this facility is so much more than a place for the swimming club, it will be a sports centre to be proud of, faciliities that all can use.

And to the objection of Rona Mills, trees can be replanted and the old site will be landscaped to fit into its surroundings, and I am sure the new sports centre will be more pleasing to the eye than the current decaying building.

Unfortunately in order for this scheme to go ahead within the budget available, sacrifices have to be made. The obviously loser is the diving club. But this is a scheme for the majority, for the general public of St Albans and let us get behind it before it becomes another wasted opportunity to improve facilities for a City that desperately needs them.

NAME & ADDRESS

SUPPLIED

Sir - I noted last week some voices against the re-development of Westminister Lodge. Let me put Mr Webster right by stating that City Of St Albans Swimming Club, to whom he referred in his misguided letter last week, are 100 per cent in favour of the proposals.

There is little point in attempting to refurbish the current facilities. The current pool is a 33-yard pool that is no longer acceptable for holding competitions - which require either a 25m or 50m facility.

The future of our young swimmers in St Albans will be best served if we stop trying to score political points and get on with developing a facility the City can be proud of. The design has a climbing wall, a new, modern gym, a spa, a sports hall, badminton courts, i.e. someting for everyone.

David Lightowler

Chairman CoStA Swimming Club

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