• Worries over impact of lack of sports facilities at Cranbrook

    7th June 2012 | News | Claire
  • Ottery St Mary Town Council has now also agreed to write to Cllr Diviani backing Mr Gilpin’s proposal (as outlined in my letter below) to make better use of the multi-purpose building, following an agenda item at last night’s full meeting.

    Mr Gilpin wrote a letter to EDDC’s chief executive in April, outlining his anxiety over a lack of sports facilities at Cranbrook – and the resulting impact on Colin Tooze Sports centre, as well as sports centres at Broadclyst and Honiton.

    Regular users of Colin Tooze Sports Centre (which is in my ward) will be familiar with the dreadful parking situation.  Double and even triple parking is the norm – and there have been a number of near misses.  The level of anxiety is increased due to the fact that it is a shared site with The Kings School.  Students are continually walking through the car park to get to lessons in the centre.

    Mr Gilpin states in his letter of 26 April:

    “Access, parking and safeguarding are particular issues for the Ottery St Mary Leisure Centre which is in desperate need of additional and improved parking.  Consideration should be given as to how this may be addressed, particularly given the increased demand that the West End (Cranbrook) will create. 

    “There is currently an increased demand for health and fitness activities that a dual use site such as this, cannot meet.

    He adds:  “Having had a look at the plans I do not feel that the single badminton court show in the multi-purpose building plan is at all adequate to meet the increased demands that Cranbrook will create, and there are already three sports halls within a 20 minute drive time that can cater for indoor sports. 

    “The current demand is for health and fitness facilities and group exercise/dance classes that these facilities cannot meet at peak times and have restricted access during the daytime.”

    My letter to the leader of EDDC:

    Dear Paul

    I was concerned to read in May’s EDDC cabinet agenda papers, that Peter Gilpin from Leisure East Devon had written to Mark Williams, outlining his worries that the lack of community sports facilities at Cranbrook, could have a significant impact on Ottery and Broadclyst Sports Centres.

    Ottery Sports Centre (Colin Tooze) is in my ward and I am only too aware of the current dire situation regarding parking.  The site is shared with The Kings School and the number of cars seeking to use the car park greatly exceeds the spaces available. 

    I have spoken to Luke Tyler, the manager of Colin Tooze sports centre about this, and he is also worried.  The current problematic situation has caused a number of near misses, including a car rolling down a grass bank, mercifully not injuring anyone.  The possibility of someone being injured, however, is a genuine worry due to students from Kings School continually walking to the sports centre for lessons.

    In addition, the probability of minor car prangs is clearly higher when so many cars are blocking others and double parking.

    It seems it can only get worse and I do fear for a significant increase in users of the sports centre, caused by inadequate sports facilities at Cranbrook. 

    I note that Peter Gilpin has presented a very reasonable solution – using the multi-purpose building to greater effect – to this potentially significant problem and I would wholeheartedly endorse his proposal. 

    I would be grateful if you would relay my letter to the committee looking into Mr Gilpin’s proposal.

    Many thanks

    Claire Wright