Wiltshire Publications

Westbury leisure plans revealed

A revamped library and improved sports and leisure facilities are top of the wish list for the Westbury community, according to campus proposals which are due to be presented at a public meeting this week.

Westbury area board will be considering the working proposals for a ‘triple-site community campus’ at its meeting on Thursday 11th December at the Laverton. If the board gives them the thumbs up, the proposals would be passed to Wiltshire Council for a feasibility study to be worked out.

The working proposals which form part of Wiltshire Council’s long term plan for campuses across the county, has taken almost two years of consultations with the community. That was carried out by the community campus team, which is made up of local people.

People right across the Westbury community area were asked for their views, including a special survey involving school pupils at Matravers. The vast majority of people asked voted for a three-site campus using existing buildings to provide a range of flexible and accessible community space and facilities.

People coming along to Thursday’s meeting will be able to learn more about the proposals. These include:

• A renovation of Westbury’s historic pool with updated reception and changing facilities;

• A refurbishment of the library, updating both the interior and exterior with a lift to the upper floors to make them publicly accessible and an extension to support additional services and a café. A neighbourhood policing team would also be based in building.

The aim is to make the library a focal point for the community and to enhance this impact, the plans propose that the area in front of the library be remodelled into a pedestrian only piazza. “This will need some traffic remodelling for the local area, but properly planned will deliver significant benefits to the town and have a major impact at the end of the High Street,” says the report.

Leighton Recreation Centre would see a major redevelopment, updating and improving all the facilities on the site, both indoors and outside. An extended sports hall, a wider range of fitness equipment and all-weather facilities would be part of the plan, along with greatly improved access and lighting.

“It is clear, for example, that 3G (artificial) pitches have a potential multi-sport use offering opportunity for football, hockey and rugby use with the right design of pitch,” says the report. “There is a significant pent up demand for such a facility in the community area.”

The report adds that the existing building is ‘shabby and unattractive’ and needs ‘a serious facelift to maximise appeal’.

• Wiltshire Council could also look to base youth activities at Leighton now that the youth centre in the town has been closed. Leighton was the clear choice as the site for youth activities from Westbury’s young people.

Area board chairman David Jenkins said, “The campus proposals are key to the future of Westbury and I would urge as many people as possible to come along and find out more about this and other important issues affecting our community.”

Everyone is very welcome to come along to the meeting on Thursday 11th December which starts at 7.00pm with refreshments and mince pies and a chance to look at the display from 6.30pm.

There will also be a chance to find out about a range of other community issues from transport projects through to youth activities and find out how the area board is working to tackle issues raised in the community.

There will also be a presentation by Hills about its plans for a renewable energy plant at Northacre and details about Wiltshire Council’s current consultation about car parking.

The full report on the campus proposals together with the agenda for the meeting is available at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/areaboards

• What do you think? Write to White Horse News at 31 Market Place, Melksham. SN12 6ES  or email: news@whitehorsenews.co.uk