Lib Dem councillors representing the Southport seafront area are celebrating a victory for the right of local people to enjoy the marine lake – and for the Victoria Leisure Club to continue to serve its members.

Developers planning to put a new Gym into the Waterside shopping site on the Promenade by the Casino, had been pressing to have the customers of the Gym provided with free car parking down by the side of the marine lake where thousands of people every year come to watch the swans and sailing boats.

Councillor Tony Dawson explains:

“The developers appeared to think we were so desperate to get these shops filled that we would sacrifice virtually anything. This apparently included our valuable heritage walkways around the marine lake. ”

“They also seemed to think that customers of their gym should be given favourable treatment over those who go to the gym in the Victoria Baths building across the road. Parking is already quite a problem for these customers and I am working to see if we can get an improvement.

But this would have been unfair competition if the new gym had been given favourable treatment. The free parking might have been used as a means to entice members away from Victoria to the new gym.”

“Councillor Sue McGuire and I met with the Victoria Sports Club who petitioned against this proposal. We totally took on board their concerns which I represented not only to the planning committee but to the council as owner of the land around the lake.”

Councillor Pat Keith says:

“I am all for new facilities which can help people stay fit but there should be no favouritism. The most popular way of Southport people staying fit is for them to stroll up and down Lord Street and around the Marine Lake and Kings Gardens. They do not want to be walking through a car park.

“I am pleased that this proposal has now been withdrawn. At the same time, I hope that the Council will redouble its efforts to get suitable shops into the Waterside complex.”


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