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East Herts Council consults public over new leisure centre at Grange Paddocks


By Paul Winspear


An artist's impression of the new leisure centre at Grange Paddocks (11518187)
An artist's impression of the new leisure centre at Grange Paddocks (11518187)

East Herts Council is to hold a two-week public consultation about its plans for a £22m new leisure centre at Grange Paddocks in Bishop's Stortford.

The authority is staging a public exhibition in the town centre on three dates as part of the consultation, which starts June 11 and ends June 25, so that people can air their views and ask questions.

The council will then refine its plans in readiness to submit planning applications later in the summer and autumn.

As well as building a brand new centre for swimmers and fitness fans, EHC is to improve facilities for footballers who use the pitches at Grange Paddocks as well as for the general public using the park.

Its current proposals for the centre include an eight-lane 25m competition pool, a 20m teaching pool with moveable floor, a shallow 'confidence pool' for toddlers, changing facilities and seats for 200-plus spectators.

The "extensive" fitness facilities will comprise a 140-station gym and two multi-purpose studios.

There will be a new all-weather 3G floodlit pitch and self-contained changing rooms for footballers.

A café that can be used both by park and centre users, a multi-purpose room offering childcare sessions and a 'health hub' complete the proposed scheme.

The new centre will be constructed in a concrete bowl just south of the existing 50-year-old buildings, which will then be demolished and the football pitches reinstated.

The proposals will be exhibited at Launchpad, the business co-working space in Charringtons House off Old River Lane, on: Tuesday June 11 3pm-8pm, Friday June 14 3pm-7pm and Saturday June 15 10am-4pm.

If you are unable to attend the exhibition, a copy of the information presented will be available to view on the council website at https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/leisuredevelopment.

The council asks members of the public to submit their feedback via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GrangePaddocks once the consultation opens. You can also email your views to consultation@stridetreglown.com.

The Grange Paddocks plan is part of a £29m leisure improvement scheme in the district.

Hartham Leisure Centre in Hertford will be renovated and expanded with a brand new state-of-the-art gym, additional studio space, a new café opening onto Hartham Common, a soft play facility and improved changing and spectator areas for the pool. There will also be extra parking spaces and changes to the entrance layout.

Cllr Eric Buckmaster, EHC's executive member for wellbeing, said: "We are delighted to be making such a big investment in our leisure centres and to be able to provide state-of-the-art services and facilities to our residents.

"The health and wellbeing of our residents is of upmost important to the council and, at a time when budgets are so tight, it's fantastic to be able to offer so much support to leisure services in our district."



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