Crisis meeting for Welwyn Garden City sports park

PUBLISHED: 06:25 26 September 2011




A SPORTS centre’s chairman has called a critical meeting to discuss his facility’s future if Tesco’s proposals for Broadwater Road are given the go-ahead.

"We employ over 200 staff and host five independent businesses on our 50-acre site.
We receive no public sector funding and rely solely on income from subscriptions and memberships.
Despite this Gosling is a vibrant community hub which has managed to survive in the local area for more than 50 years and our charitable objectives are to provide facilities for recreation, physical education and other leisure time occupation for the people of Welwyn Hatfield."

Gosling Sports Park’s chairman Steve Ryan

Gosling Sports Park’s chairman Steve Ryan has said he is concerned the WGC centre may not survive if a new gym and swimming pool were built as part of the supermarket’s plans for the former Shredded Wheat site.

In a plea to all 48 Welwyn Hatfield councillors he has asked they attend the meeting, which will focus on the contribution Gosling makes to the community and outline how best to ensure its future.

Mr Ryan told councillors: “Gosling adopts a neutral position in respect of the principle of a Tesco superstore on this site as we believe this is a matter for the council and residents.

“What we do object to is the leisure element within the Tesco proposal.

“Our objection is specifically that a gym operator will be required to subsidise the proposed swimming pool.

“This has been confirmed to us by Tesco.

“If this were allowed it would have a very damaging impact on Gosling Sports Park and undermines its ongoing viability and ultimate survival.”

Mr Ryan said he had already written to the planning department and spoken to Tesco representatives about the concerns.

The meeting, which is not open to the public, takes place at the Stanborough Road venue on Tuesday evening.

Any interested parties should email to enquire about a possible place.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times