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.”