Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Club unveils plans for new sports and fitness centre

Club unveils plans for new sports and fitness centre

PLANS for a sports and fitness pavilion in the grounds of Phyllis Court Club in Henley have been submitted.

The new building at the private members’ club would include a swimming pool, gym, exercise studio, treatment rooms and changing rooms.

The development also involves relocating the club’s tennis courts and carrying out drainage work costing about £600,000 for which it already has planning permission.

The move is designed to attract new members. In a ballot of existing members in May last year 1,118 out of the 1,746 who voted supported the idea.

The club was granted planning permission for a larger £4 million fitness centre in September 2014 but then abandoned to the idea, saying it was not viable.

Its latest application to South Oxfordshire District Council says the pavilion would enhance the club’s facilities and allow for the existing buildings to be used for “more appropriate” activities.

ADP Architects of London, who drew up the plans, say the pavilion would have a “contemporary, crisp” appearance.

It would be a combination of single and double storey but smaller than the building in the previous application.

The treatment rooms and a staff office have beem removed and a proposed jacuzzi and steam room have been combined into a sanarium.

The gym, studio space, swimming pool, storage and changing facilities have also been reduced in size.

The car park would no longer be affected and the orientation and location of the building have been slightly amended so it is further away from the north boundary bordering Fawley Meadows and aligns with the new tennis courts behind.

The architects say: “The development has been designed to have a distinctive, contemporary character but one which will sit comfortably and sympathetically within the established landscape surroundings and responds to the character of the local area.”

The south and east facades, with the entrance and swimming pool, would be single storey to “reduce the scale” to the homes in Phyllis Court Drive and from the river.

The ground floor would be finished in white-coloured render — like the club’s main building — and the first floor would be covered in timber veneer panelling.

The application says: “The proposed materials have been chosen to reflect and be sympathetic to the materials used within the wider Henley environment.

“This will provide a feeling of continuity with the other club buildings and distinguish it from the use of more domestic brickwork for the adjacent residential properties.

“The effect will be quite bright in comparison with the adjacent trees and landscaping and this will give the building both a contemporary, crisp appearance and give the facility sufficient impact in its setting.”

The club currently has about 2,890 members but hopes to have about 3,250 within three years.

Club chairwoman Patricia Christmas said it was hoped work would begin in mid-July and be completed within a year.

“We already had permission for the larger facility but we decided the best thing was to downsize but otherwise it’s the same as before.

“Members are looking forward to it and it is helping to attract new members — it is the missing piece.

“People will be able to come and use these facilities and the rest of Phyllis Court Club for the price that most people pay for a fitness centre
elsewhere.”

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