Plans submitted for £30million redevelopment of Lee Valley Ice Centre
PUBLISHED: 12:15 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:19 21 February 2020
Major plans to redevelop the Lee Valley Ice Centre have now been submitted to Waltham Forest Council.
The 34-year-old centre in Lea Bridge Road is "fast reaching the end of its operational life" according to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), which has submitted proposals for a £30million facility with two Olympic size rinks.
If given the green light, the centre would be the first twin-pad venue in the south, and would also feature a new gym and exercise studio. It would double its footprint and bring in more than 500,000 people a year.
The LVRPA says the designs have "sustainability at the heart" with a native planting and innovative energy, construction and water re-use methods. But eco campaigners hit out over the plans during a consultation last year, saying the building would encroach on green space and endanger hedgehogs.
The LVRPA also says the cost of physical inactivity in Waltham Forest and Hackney is £107million a year. It commissioned socio-economic research that found the new centre would produce an estimated annual health benefit of £16.2m, due to more people using the centre and the interaction between communities using it.
It also states almost a third of skaters using the centre now are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, while women and girls make up 60% of visitors. Both groups are underrepresented when it comes to physical activity.
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LVRPA CEO Shaun Dawson said: "We've taken our time to listen to communities and ensure that the feedback they have given us has been incorporated into the designs.
"This scheme would create a new centre that would be somewhere the whole community feels welcome. It is vital this scheme is given the green light, otherwise this wonderful community activity will be lost for good.
"The improved landscape will better open up the green space around the centre for everyone to enjoy."
Some 1,360 people responded to the consultation, with 80% supporting the plans.
Lee Valley Lions Junior Ice Hockey Club coach Eddie Joseph said: "Working with young people at the centre is amazing.
"We've had some great success and I've seen first-hand the impact this can have on the lives of young people. The planned new ice centre will allow clubs like us to reach even more people in the local area, which can only be seen as a good thing."
A formal consultation is now taking place. People can respond by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting #194162. For more information click here.
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