Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Members to vote on new fitness centre plan

MEMBERS of Phyllis Court Club in Henley are to be balloted on plans for a fitness centre.

MEMBERS of Phyllis Court Club in Henley are to be balloted on plans for a fitness centre.

The private members’ club has drawn up a business plan for a £3million gym and swimming pool after shelving plans for a larger £4millionfitness centre last year.

The previous proposal was given planning permission in September 2014 but was axed for being unviable.

Club chairwoman Patricia Christmas said she was hopeful the ballot would produce the required majority to go ahead with the new plan.

She said: “We are encouraging everybody to vote because we want to know what our members feel.

“I do not want to spend any more effort, time and money on it because members have put a lot of time into the business plan already.

“I’m sure we will get more than 50 per cent. We have had positive feedback at the forums.”

A special meeting will take place on April 26 when members can vote, although they are already able to vote by post.

The plans for the new fitness centre were displayed at the club in February.

It would a include a 20m pool, changing facilities, an exercise studio for classes, two small treatment rooms, a 20-station gym and a small café.

The fitness centre would be built in two stages. The first would include a studio for yoga and pilates, a gym, changing rooms and treatment rooms. The second would provide a swimming pool and jacuzzi.

The building would be positioned to the west side of the visitors’ car park and would be based on the style of the River & Rowing Museum.

The development would also involve relocating and upgrading the club’s tennis courts and carrying out drainage work at a cost of about £600,000.

The club forecasts the centre would cost £379,000 to operate in the first year.

To help meet the cost, members’ annual subscriptions would rise by £100 a year from 2017 and then £25 each year until 2020. This would be on top of any other subscription increases.

Mrs Christmas said: “I just hope members realise we need this centre because there’s a good business case even if they don’t want to use it. We already have 31 groups at the club and we feel this will enhance it.”

Some of the club’s neighbours have objected to previous plans.

Dorothy Irons, who lives in Phyllis Court Drive, said: “I think if it’s just for members of the club then fair enough but people come down the drive and you don’t know if they’re members or not.

“They pass me to get there, so there would be additional traffic and the drive’s not very wide. That’s the main concern.”

Morag Campbell, who also lives on the street, said: “I’m waiting to see what the final plans are and to hear both sides.

“A reduced size proposal is better if you look at the age of people at Phyllis Court — they’re not going to use it much except if it’s a little gym for the tennis and rowing people.”

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