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Decision over new Rotherhithe leisure centre location frozen

Southwark Council has decided to “look again” at possible sites for the new Rotherhithe leisure centre, after angry residents protested against the controversial “green haven” frontrunner.

The council had been leaning towards building on a green patch of land on the western edge of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre’s car park, to the dismay of ecological activists and local residents.

However, following a meeting of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) earlier this month, Councillor Mark Williams has frozen the decision-making process until mid-October.

This will allow the Southwark Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes to re-assess the pros and cons of a number of different potential sites.

In a letter sent to OSC chair Cllr Gavin Edwards, Cllr Williams said: “I set out the reasons which led to us choosing this as our preferred site for the new centre at the meeting. Crucially it is the site which gives us both a great leisure centre and the scope for the greatest number of council homes.

“However it was clear at the OSC meeting that members and some local residents have concerns about the council’s proposed preferred location of the new centre.”

Catherine Whitaker, a spokesperson for the Canada Water West Residents’ Action Group, said: “We welcome this move and will engage constructively in the hope we can secure a rethink.”



  1. I wasn’t aware of this but I rejected the site any way in my consultation review on Saturday because of the proposed leisure centre swimmin pool is only 25 meters and for the needs of school children swimming lessons. But now that I know this I agree that wild life should be protected.
    The “consultation” has leading and leaning questions which now I can fully understand, they say that if you wish to keep the Seven Islands site you are aware that there will be no swimming pool for 3 to 4 years, and crucially they don’t tell the public that the proposed site is reserved for wildlife OR that the only sport need envisaged for the new proposed swimming pool is school children’s swimming lessons so the pool will only have 25 meters! So swimmers and wild life lovers should all reject the site and leisure centre plans. The “Master Plan” should be bined.
    What Southwark is doing is against the London Commitment to promote (not demote) sports made when it placed the Olympic bid.
    Goes without saying we should be contacting councilors, MPs, candidates for Mayors etc.. anything you can get your hands on.. good luck!

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