Council promise full publicconsultation on sports plan

DERRY City Council has promised plans to radically transform sports and leisure provision in the Waterside - including a proposal to replace Lisnagelvin swimming pool with a new facility in St Columb’s Park - will only take place following a full consultation programme.

Last week the Sentinel reported how Councillors agreed to proceed with a major Waterside Leisure Development incorporating a new Sports Campus in St Columb’s Park and new pitches at Clondermot.

DUP Alderman Drew Thompson welcomed the move but warned a linked option to build a new swimming pool in St Columb’s Park should only be progressed with thorough consultation with the local community.

“With regards to the swimming pool there will have to be a proper consultation with the local community, partcularly if there is any possibility of the closure of Lisnaglevin.”

“There has to be adequate consultation with the community about this - not just two or three people,” he said.

A spokesperson for Derry City Council said the plans would only proceed after a full consultation with members of the community in the Waterside.

The Council also advised the Waterside development was part of a strategic framework for the development and delivery of the Council’s sport and leisure portfolio over the next number of years.

“Members agreed to proceed with a number of phased reviews. The first phase includes the commissioning of a Masterplan for sport at Templemore Sports Complex site and the review of community leisure provision at the Brandywell and City Baths as part of the Foyle Valley Gateway Initiative within the Regeneration Plan,” the spokesperson said.

“Members also adopted proposals for leisure provision in the Waterside which includes the potential consolidation of enhanced leisure services at the Sports Campus at St Columb’s Park along with leisure facilities at Clondermot. “This proposal will be progressed with a full consultation programme of leisure users and residents in the area,” the spokesperson said.

A pre-liminary costing of the option to relocate the swimming pool from the Lisnagelvin site to St Columb’s Park suggests it could result in a saving of approximately £300k per annum.

It is estimated the North West Region Sports Campus will cost roughly £8m to complete though not all of the funding has yet been ringfenced.

According to the Council a contribution of £1,700,000 from Sports NI has been “confirmed ‘in principle.’”

Equally, £2m from DSD pends an application. The exact total cost is estimated at £7,374,690.

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