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Access could be an issue for leisure site
3:56pm Wed Jan 16, 2013

There’s no denying the long-term need for a new leisure centre for Newark and surrounding villages, but why is Newark and Sherwood District Council determined to provide it on Bowbridge Road?

In terms of access this is one of the busiest roads in town that can only get more congested as other developments continue to take shape there.

There is also a sports centre already on Bowbridge Road, at the Magnus School, where facilities are open to the public.

Why have two so close together?

The old RHP sports ground, off Elm Avenue, certainly has potential for a sports hub, for example for use by Newark Town FC, but what is so wrong with upgrading or rebuilding the current Grove Leisure Centre on London Road, Balderton?

Issues remain over the rebuilding of the neighbouring Newark Academy (Grove School) but this site is still the best in terms of access for many people.

London Road is wide enough and used to dealing with large amounts of traffic, and the Grove site is also easily accessible on foot and by bicycle for many.

Who fancies cycling down Bowbridge Road?

Perhaps there is an issue over the site technically being in Balderton, yet that doesn’t seem to matter when the powers-that-be want to class Balderton as Newark anyway — The Grove School being renamed Newark Academy proves the point.

Newark town centre is congested enough due to the ill-thought-out Asda-led development, not to mention the pending use of the Gilstrap Centre as a register office, which will cause even more traffic on an often gridlocked Castlegate.

The new leisure centre needs to be in the right place for the people who will use it. Have they even been asked?

— N. WARD, Balderton (Full address supplied).

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