Parking worries persist as Heathfield pool scheme is submitted
By Sussex Courier | Friday, April 27, 2012, 07:01
PLANS for a £2.3 million swimming pool in Heathfield have finally been submitted.
optimistic: Jack Hampton, Ken Brewster and Rosemary Mays-Smith of the Heathfield Partnership sports committee
site: How the swimming pool may look
For years Heathfield has been without a pool – the nearest ones are in Uckfield and Hailsham.
But this could all change if planning consent is given for a 25m facility in Cade Street.
More than £40,000 was raised by the community for the planning application, which includes a gym and 44 additional car parking spaces.
But some residents are still concerned about issues of parking on the site and in the surrounding roads.
Colin Mackenzie, of Church Road, fears spaces would immediately be filled by staff and students from Heathfield Community College.
The 66-year-old said: "I welcome a pool. It is a great amenity. My concern is two schools in a small village will mean a large amount of people having to access it by car. But it is a golden opportunity to provide parking for not only users of the pool but the schools."
Mr Mackenzie said there was currently a "bottleneck of traffic" every day because of parked cars along the road near the school and the existing leisure centre.
"We have noticed at any one time 30 to 45 cars are parked on that stretch of road," Mr Mackenzie added.
"I would very much hope the council would see this is as an opportunity of solving this problem."
But Rosemary Mays-Smith, the pool project's chairman, said the additional 44 spaces outlined in the plans, including five for the disabled and one for a minibus, should help to alleviate these concerns.
She said: "There is now room for a minibus to turn. I very much hope it gets passed. It is already being supported by the Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council."
Mike Murphy, chairman of Old Heathfield and Cade Street Society, which is currently preparing its response to the application, said: "The question of traffic and parking are the main aspects that we are responding to. There are other things such as how much will the public use it?
"Who will own the pool? It seems nobody wants to be holding the baby if repairs are needed or if there is a shortfall."
If permission is granted for the swimming pool, bids will be made to the Lottery to pay for its construction.
Comments on the application should be sent via the planning portal which can be found at www.eastsussex.gov.uk, quoting reference WD/3077/CC by May 4.