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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Public debate on where new Workington leisure centre should be

A date has been set for a public meeting to debate Workington’s proposed new £9.41 million leisure centre.

It will be on Tuesday, February 11 from 6pm in Moorclose Community Centre.

Allerdale council’s executive voted in November to build the new complex on the Cloffocks, next to Brow Top car park.

But Denis Robertson, Independent Allerdale councillor for Moorclose, is demanding a referendum on the plans.

Six members of the electorate have backed his call for the public meeting to gauge whether the people of Workington would support a public vote.

The meeting will determine if there is enough support for a referendum to be held.

Coun Robertson said: “I just want common sense to prevail. The land is contaminated. It’s on a flood plain and there could be legal action because of mineral rights issues.”

He said that if Allerdale council was to ignore a public vote against the Cloffocks site, he would seek a judicial review.

He added: “I will write to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to give him all the evidence.

“Hopefully he can put a stop to it before it gets off the ground. I honestly believe the proposed site of the leisure centre is a no-go.”

The meeting will be chaired by Workington mayor Konrad Hansen.

The referendum would cost about £9,000 and would be paid by the town council.

It would be the responsibility of Workington Town Council and would be independent of Allerdale council.

The result would not be legally binding and Allerdale council has confirmed that its executive was “not required” to revisit its decision for any reason.

Coun Robertson said he hoped that if enough people voted in the poll, the executive would be forced to reconsider.

An Allerdale council spokesman said: “A flood risk assessment and investigations relating to contaminated land were considered by the executive as part of the site assessment and further research will be carried out as part of the planning process.

“There are mineral rights issues on both the Moorclose and Brow Top sites and they will also be resolved by the council.”

Tesco had wanted to buy the Cloffocks for £18 million but the deal was scrapped in June 2011.

Coun Robertson was among those who spent more than a decade campaigning against the sale of the Cloffocks. He also fought against a previous plan to build the town’s police station on the land.

Have your say

"Desperately needed"..are you for real...whose going to pay for it!!!!!!!

Posted by not with my money... on 30 January 2014 at 22:38

sheer waste of £9m ...and for those of you saying build it before the money is spent on something else..they dont have the money to spend ...borrow borrow borrow...thats our councils solution...we will be paying this debt off for years..

Posted by mrs w on 30 January 2014 at 18:11

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