'Such a facility will never be built again in this area' - fight to save community centre (From Borehamwood Times)
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'Such a facility will never be built again in this area' - chairman of Maxwell Park Community Centre writes to councillors to save centre
A campaigner fighting plans to sell a community centre has called for councillors' support in the struggle.
Chris Anderson, chairman of Maxwell Park Community Centre in Maxwell Road, has written to councillors urging them to “indicate their position” as to whether they will help fight to save the popular centre.
Hertfordshire County Council plans to sell the Maxwell Park site to developers, with a new community centre in Shenley Road due to open later this year.
However, Mr Anderson said the Shenley Road centre should open “in addition to and not instead of” existing facilities, which are open seven days a week.
He said one centre will not be enough to cope with the area's increasing population, and he reminded councillors that the hall is intended to replace two church halls as well as the Maxwell Park centre.
The centre first opened in 1963 as a youth social club, and today provides the venue for musical classes for disabled people, as well as drug support groups and activities for the over-50s.
Mr Anderson added: “The centre is a unique size in this community, having a hall with a capacity for 180 people, plus other rooms, and can cater for several group users simultaneously, with free car parking and an adjacent open space. Such a facility will never be built again in this area.”
He claimed studies into the amount of people using halls taken last spring failed to take into account the projected growth of the area through building projects including the Elstree Way Corridor consultation, which could see more than 1,300 homes built in the vicinity.
June Kempton, the centre secretary, told the Borehamwood and Elstree times last week that the centre has a “lovely atmosphere” and said a lot of people would have to give up their activities if it was forced to close.
Elstree, Borehamwood and District Community Association is also looking into the possibility of buying the centre.