Shooters object to new sports hall entrance

THERE have been six objections to Huntingdonshire District Council’s plans to re-vamp the entrance to the St Ivo indoor leisure centre in St Ives – but none of them is relevant to the planning application.

The council’s proposals to demolish the existing entrance and replace it with a new entrance, party room, office, restaurant and fitness suite are part of wider �3million plans to re-fettle the 1974 centre.

Part of the plan is to replace the existing shooting range with a ten-pin bowling alley – and it is this proposal that has attracted the objections, even though it is not covered by the planning application, which will be determined by the council’s development management panel on Monday

The new building lies in front of the present buildings and will fill in the gap between the One Leisure entrance and the entrance to the adjacent Burgess Hall, the largest function room in Huntingdonshire.

The wider improvements to the leisure centre behind it also include a multipurpose studio, cr�che facilities and improved changing facilities. The new restaurant at the front of the building will include an external seating area.

The new build will add 570 sq metres of floor space to the 7,500 sq metre complex.

The shooters, who say their activity should be encouraged, complain that the nearest shooting range will be in Cambridge after St Ives closes.

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But planners say the main issues for councillors to consider are those of design, impact on neighbours and the conservation area, access and parking, adding: “The internal alterations and change to the provision of sporting facilities do not require planning permission, and the loss of the range is therefore not a matter that can be given any weight as a consideration in determination of this application.”

They recommend approval, and have the support of St Ives Town Council.