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Residents hit out at Carlisle community centre gym plan

Dozens of residents have appealed for councillors to reject proposals for a Carlisle gym – claiming it would add to their parking nightmare.

Botcherby Community Centre gym photo
Helen Fisher with the plans

More than 30 residents in Victoria Road, Botcherby, have written to the city council and submitted a petition calling for a new community gym at Botcherby Community Centre to be refused.

Last week the News & Star revealed that the centre wants to build an extension to its current building, in which it would house a small not-for-profit gym.

Helen Fisher, centre manager, said the gym was in response to a community consultation which identified the need for a local facility.

She insisted that it will only hold enough equipment for “about a dozen” users at any time, but residents in the area fear it would exacerbate their already nightmare parkingsituation.

In a joint letter to councillors, residents claimed that they already have difficulty parking near their homes because of people attending Carlisle United football matches or visiting their allotments in the area.

“Many residents in the near vicinity are elderly, disabled or have young children, therefore you will appreciate that these vulnerable residents not only like to park as close to their properties as is possible, but for some it is a necessity for their health and safety,” the letter claims.

“Many residents feel trapped in their own homes on numerous occasions, because we know if we go out in the car we will not be able to get parked when we return, therefore we opt to stay in.”

Residents say that although the community centre has a car park, it is rarely used and believe additional visitors to the centre would park in the street and aggravate the situation.

Mrs Fisher, 44, has written a response to their concerns, explaining that the centre has invested £22,000 to increase its original parking – tripling it in size.

“We cannot enforce on-site parking,” she continued. “However, group leaders are regularly requested to remind their members to use our parking facility.

“There are many occasions when we have available space.”

Mrs Fisher said that the centre managers believe the small number of machines and workstations in the gym would limit its use, and that the majority of gym users are expected to live within walking distance.

The planning application is set to be considered at a meeting of Carlisle City Council on January 25.

Have your say

The residents are not so naive as to think we have exclusivity over the public highway, we are just raising the problems we have regarding parking. Many insurance policies require you to park outside your own front door overnight for them to be valid.
We are led to believe the "community" gym is not just for local residents but will be accessible to anyone wanting to join.
The residents ARE NOT against the development of the Community Centre or the Gym we are highlighting an existing problem which we believe is likely to worsen if not addressed.
The extended car park mentioned in the article is not a recent development(was completed approx.2 years ago)and the empty spaces is because the cars are parked on the street, often at the bus stop, which must in itself be a Health and Safety issue!

Posted by Resident on 14 January 2013 at 22:44

If there is only capacity for a dozen or so surely the carpark in the Community Centre would be big enough for it, why are the residents so against a great opportunity for Botcherby

Posted by Would be Gym User on 14 January 2013 at 21:33

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