Hundreds join fight for new leisure centre

A FRESH petition calling for a new Littlehampton Swimming Sports Centre to be built on the site of the current one is gathering momentum.

Since launching earlier this month, the campaign has already received more than 500 signatures of support.

The bid is being organised by the Littlehampton Civic Society and the Littlehampton Community Charter Group.

Angela Tester, secretary of the civic society, said the aim was to get more than 20,000 signatures.

“We want Arun to wake up and listen to us,” she said. “But to do that, we need to get a lot of support.”

The campaigners said they were frustrated by Mr Dendle’s controversial comments on Facebook this week (see story above) about their efforts.

They said Mr Dendle was wrong in his comments, in which he claimed ‘old people’ were protesting against a new swimming centre.

Terry Ellis, one of the community charter’s co-ordinators, said: “The older people are not saying that they don’t want a new swimming pool or leisure centre.

“It’s quite the opposite, we’re all saying ‘yes, yes, yes’.

“But what we want is for a new swimming and sports centre to built at the site of the existing one.

“Even if that means the current site is closed while a new one is being built.”

Mr Ellis stressed that the last thing campaigners wanted to see was for the site to be developed into flats along the seafront.

He added: “It just beggars belief that Mr Dendle would say something like this in the first place.

“I have got family that come from London and love using the centre.”

Mr Ellis argued that a leisure centre along the seafront would be more beneficial than the other option on the cards, which could see a new facility being built to the north, on land by the Daisyfields Caravan Park.

He said: “People come to Littlehampton for its seafront. If its raining, they can go inside to the Windmill’s cinema or to the swimming centre. If a new one was built they would have to go out into the middle of town to find it.”

Mrs Tester added that the civic society was intending to upgrade its website to make it more mobile-friendly for young people.

Those wishing to sign the petition can do so by visiting the and printing off a petition, or by heading to 121 Bayford Road.

A number of petitions sheets are also available at more than a dozen businesses and pubs across Littlehampton’s shopping precinct.

For more information about the latest campaign, call 01903 721900.