Future of Hermitage Recreation Ground – online consultation now live

Published: Fri 10 June, 2022

An online feedback form on the future of Hermitage Recreation Ground and the former leisure centre site in Whitwick is now live at www.nwleics.gov.uk/hermitage until Friday 15 July 2022.

This latest stage of North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) community consultation asks local people what kind of recreation facilities they would like to see on the site, if the funding was available.

Comments received online will be added to those made at a community feedback event held on Thursday 9 June at the new Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre.

The event and the online consultation detail a vision developed by the council following its previous consultations with the public, community groups and local schools.

The vision shows the possibilities for the site – including an eco-park, a community centre, improved play area, indoor urban sports centre and a small number of houses – and the costs associated with different levels of investment.

Some of the ideas drawn up by consultants on behalf of NWLDC are simply not affordable, as the income they would likely generate would not cover the running costs.

However, one option is for a small amount of council housing to be developed on the leisure centre site, providing money to the council’s leisure service to invest in the recreation ground.

The council is now asking six key questions, to inform the development of further proposals for the sites:

  1. Do you support the development of an eco-park on the site?
  2. What outdoor facilities are most important to you?
  3. What play area equipment would you most like to see?
  4. If an indoor facility was developed on site, what would be most important to you? 
  5. Would you support some housing on the leisure centre site, if it meant more funding for recreation facilities on the site?
  6. If a small amount of housing was developed on the site of the leisure centre, what type of housing would be most acceptable to you?

Feedback from the community event and online consultation will be presented in an options report to NWLDC’s Cabinet on 19 July. Councillors will also receive a recommendation to approve the demolition of the former leisure centre, which has been deemed unfit for use through a series of surveys.

Subject to Cabinet approval, it is likely that detailed proposals will be drawn up – both for the former leisure centre site and the recreation ground – with local people given more opportunities to comment on these proposals in the future.

Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “We were pleased to meet with lots of Whitwick and Coalville residents, as well as representatives from community groups, sports and special interest clubs, businesses and the parish council at our community feedback event.

“The views of the community are really important when deciding on the future of important sites like the Hermitage Recreation Ground. We also need to be open and realistic about what’s possible, so it’s good to show how we’ve developed and costed a vision for the site, and get opinions from local people about what’s most important to them.

“If you couldn’t make it to the feedback event, I’d urge you to have your say online at www.nwleics.gov.uk/hermitage.”