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Making plans for a new era
2:28pm Friday 11th November 2011 in Readers' Letters
I would like to take the opportunity to address the issues concerning the proposed sale of the Maxwell Park Community Centre site.
It is a great shame that such a negative standpoint is being taken on what is good news for Borehamwood. The community is getting a £6 million brand new multi-purpose library, hall and a community centre in Shenley Road, as well as a Youth Connexions One Stop Shop and a new home for the local museum.
It is anticipated that the new development will be finished in late 2012, with occupation taking place in early 2013. We are working with Hertsmere Borough Council to look at the needs of existing users at the Maxwell Park Community Centre and how they might be best served in the alternative activity space.
The Maxwell Park Community Centre has provided over 40 years of useful service to the people of Borehamwood. However, significant expenditure is required to maintain the building. It doesn’t make financial sense, particularly in the current economic climate, to invest heavily in older properties when newer, purpose-built facilities will be available for the community.
There has been some confusion over whether the site is capable of redevelopment due to contamination. A map on the Hertsmere Borough Council’s website — S139 Undeveloped Land off Maxwell Road — clearly shows that any contaminated area does not include the Maxwell Park Community Centre.
Contrary to recent claims, the trustees and users of the Maxwell Park Community Centre have been kept informed of our proposals. The project for the regeneration of the Elstree Way corridor, which incorporates the site occupied by the centre, has been in development for a number of years. Several publicly available documents have been produced and public consultation events and meetings have taken place, which included references to the potential closure of the centre.
The move from the Maxwell Park centre to the proposed new facilities in Shenley Road was agreed by the county council’s cabinet in July 2008. The trustees of the Maxwell Park Community Centre were informally made aware after that decision was made, and formal notification of the closure was given to them in a meeting on August 15.
I appreciate that people are sad to see the closure of Maxwell Park, but I hope people can now look forward to a new era with more modern facilities, which will meet the needs of the community for years to come.
Executive member for resources and economic well-being
Hertfordshire County Council