Support Growing for Keep Henley Active Campaign to Keep LA Fitness as Leisure Centre

keep-henley-activeDespite the horrible weather conditions on Saturday the people of Henley still came out specially to see or stopped to talk to the Keep Henley Active group who are campaigning to keep the former LA Fitness site as a leisure centre and not being turned into an 80 bed care home.

Michelle Thomas and Nick Roullier from Keep Henley Active were joined by Olympic Rower; Will Satch, Mayor, Councillor Lorraine Hillier, County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Town Councillors David Eggleton and Julian Brookes, Simon Dunster from the Henley Town Team and former members of LA Fitness who were all offering their support.

Members of the public were being asked to sign the South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) petition to keep the site as a community asset and to log their objections against the planning application for the care home which has recently been submitted. There are already a number of objections submitted against the application which include:

Scott Douglas, from Imperial Court, “I do not see the value or sense in taking away a key leisure facility for the area that was extremely well used and supported, especially considering the already limited leisure facilities in the Henley-on-Thames area.”

Claire Graham, Northfield End, “Henley is in desperate need of more sports/health venues. One swimming pool for the town is just not enough. Children are not able to get lessons because of the lack of facilities.”

Joanna McGinn, Wilson Avenue, “I do not agree with the change of use and think it should remain a leisure facility for the benefit of the many families who use it for swimming lessons. There is a lack of under-5s swimming lessons in Henley.”

Karin Rutter, Mill Lane, “It is proposed to have an access to an ambulance bay and 15 parking spaces from Mill Lane. Mill Lane is very congested with vehicles when there are football matches and this problem will be greatly exacerbated when the new houses are built on the site of the Jet petrol station. All these houses will have access for their cars from Mill Lane”

Nick Roullier said, “We are just in the process of adding the numbers of people who added their details to the petition but it is likely to be just over 300.  We think this number would have been doubled if the weather had been fair.  We need to keep fighting for CF1 status which states “Proposals that result in the loss of a recreational facility or an essential community facility or service, through change of use or redevelopment, will not be permitted unless:-

  • Suitable alternative provision (or alternative with equivalent community value) is made for the facility on a site elsewhere in the locality, or
  • In the case of recreational facilities, it is not needed.
  • In the case of commercial services, it is not economically viable.

We urge people to continue to sign the SODC petition at
We have asked SODC the question – How many names on the petition is enough to show that the community wants to keep this facility?”

Michelle Thomas said, “Leaflets have been distributed throughout the coffee shops of Henley but we can’t stress enough that SODC would like to hear from you so please do take a few minutes to write a few lines to Marc Pullen, the Planning Officer in charge of the planning application The deadline for objection is 27 November.

All of the details are their website at

Keep Active Henley are planning to announce some more events over the coming days.



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