Local councillors have hit out at a “lack of communication” around plans for a new well-being centre in Lampeter with local sports groups also concerned about proposals.
An update on how plans are coming along for Lampeter Well-being Centre, the first to be developed in Ceredigion, was presented to healthier communities overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday (September 22).
Part of a wider strategy in Porth Cymorth Cynnar, Porth Cynnal and the through-age and well-being programme, the scheme will provide “enhanced provision” in Lampeter and the surrounding area but local member Cllr Hag Harries questioned the size of the hall available.
“We have a problem here that can’t be easily glossed over,” he said on Wednesday, referring to the hall size of approximately three badminton court size when the “basic size of a sports hall is four badminton courts size” meaning not all will be catered for and “we are going to finish up with a sports hall that isn’t big enough.”
Cllr Harries highlighted concerns from the local netball team, and a letter was also referenced from the club by committee chairman Cllr Bryan Davies, that there would not be an inside area for matches.
A cabinet decision was taken in December 2020 for Lampeter Leisure Centre to become the first Well-Being Centre after the pandemic delayed plans and ruled out other sites such as Plascrug in Aberystwyth which was repurposed as a covid hospital.
Cllr Keith Evans that the “cart is in front of the horse” and despite officer discussions more communication with the public and local users should have been had, with the committee reminded there was an online consultation ongoing.
A lack of communication with members was raised by Cllr Euros Davies who said private ‘pink’ papers of the plans could have been provided and “early discussion on this with local members” who could have “suggested a plan B, there’s no plan B, it’s plan A and that’s it.”
He, and Cllr Bryan Davies, also highlighted the need to ensure planning was needed or not, particularly in light of phosphate regulations and the impact on applications.
Corporate manager Carwyn Young said there would be further public consultation, and there was outdoor provision for full size netball courts, as well as a hall available at Lampeter University, with matches traditional held in Aberaeron.
He added: “I’m confident we can provide these activities within the new provision” and that the centre will be an “enhancement of provision.”