Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Court watch: Finsbury Leisure Centre

The squash court building at Finsbury Leisure CentreThe results of a consultation about the future of Finsbury Leisure Centre (and the squash courts therein) has been published by Islington Council.

Though over 50% of respondents rated squash provision at the Centre as "very important" or "quite important", the future existence of the courts appears far from secure ...

No final decisions about the future of the squash courts have yet been made by the council, though it appears that the majority public view is that the leisure centre should be demolished and replaced with a more modern building and better facilities.

It appears that whatever is decided, the courts have an extra layer of legal protection due to the fact that the council does not own the building which houses the courts - this is leased from a housing association.

However ... :

"It is (therefore) proposed that Council approve the provision of a quantum of housing not exceeding a footprint of 435 square metres. This is significantly lower than both options presented in the consultation and is equivalent in size to the footprint occupied by the current squash courts."

It is not clear whether this housing will replace the courts, and there will be a further consultation on the scope of the development as a whole at the design stage, which:

" ... should try to accommodate as many of the facilities highlighted by the public as possible, in the order of priority given by the consultation responses."

To my knowledge there is no offically registered squash club based at Finsbury, though the courts are well used and there is an active, competitive public squash ladder based there. However, I have heard that the current administrator of this ladder wishes to relinquish responsibility and a replacement is yet to be found.

The original consultation can be viewed here:

http://www.islington.gov.uk/DownloadableDocuments/LeisureandCulture/Pdf/ironmonger_row_consultation.pdf

And here are the results of the consultation can be seen here:

http://www.islington.gov.uk/DownloadableDocuments/CouncilandDemocracy/Pdf/iron_monger_row_baths_consult_results.pdf
http://www.islington.gov.uk/DownloadableDocuments/CouncilandDemocracy/Pdf/irb_flc_consultation_report.pdf

Other courts closing or at risk

See my articles on this site about:

The Chase Squash Club, Leicester
Morley Leisure Centre
Harrow Squash Club

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