A public meeting has been called to discuss the future of the King Alfred leisure centre in Hove. It will take place at Hove Town Hall on Friday, May 24 at 2pm.
The meeting, organised by Mike Weatherley MP, follows a survey which found that two-thirds (67%) of residents in central Hove are unhappy with the existing King Alfred leisure centre.
Central Hove Conservatives, Adam Love and Cllr Andrew Wealls, have since criticised Brighton Council and the Green Administration for their slow progress in creating a new leisure centre, which they say could support sports facilities and a swimming pool, while the site itself could house restaurants, cafes and other outlets.
The majority of residents (52.5%) agreed that the site should be dedicated to sports and swimming facilities, while 10% supported a bowling alley, 10% a sauna and 7.5% an ice rink.
Adam Love, Community Activist and Central Hove Conservative election candidate, said:
“There is a clear desire from residents to have a new modern leisure centre on the King Alfred site. Yet, Brighton Council’s Green administration has done nothing to make this happen. The last serious investment was that approved by the previous Conservative administration in 2008-9.”
Residents were also asked about the controversial issue of whether they would accept “appropriate housing development on the site to fund a new improved, sport and leisure centre”. Two-thirds of residents (68%) said that they would, compared to around a quarter (23%) who were unwilling.
Andrew Wealls, Conservative Councillor for Central Hove, added:
“Residents’ acceptance of appropriate housing on the site is a pragmatic recognition that a new centre would need funding. However we also have to ensure that any additional housing is appropriate in scale and supported by sufficient infrastructure like schools, doctors’ surgeries and parking facilities.”
A former controversial proposal to develop the King Alfred site designed by the international architect Frank Gehry was opposed by local Conservatives. Gehry’s projects included the Guggenheim in Bilbao, The Walt Disney Arts Centre in Los Angeles and the Dancing House or Fred & Ginger Building in Prague.