Swanley residents have expressed outrage towards council plans to redevelop White Oak Leisure Centre without replacing the existing sports hall, which is used by many people every day.

Last month, the council unveiled its £17 million plans to build a new White Oak centre on the existing site which would see the introduction of a 100-station gym, new parkour arena and Tag Active facility, which promotes agility and speed training.

The plans also propose building new homes on another part of the site to help cover the cost of the redevelopment.

However, some regular users of the centre are less than impressed with the plans as they do not include a multi-purpose sports hall, like the one which currently exists in the centre.

Ray Fuller, 71, visits the centre every week in order to take part in Primetime, a programme offered to over 50s to promote safe exercise and wellbeing.

However, he says the majority of the programme's activities take place in the sports hall and the lack of one in the proposed centre seems unfair to the many who benefit from it.

"I’m not sure who did the design brief but they deliberately left out the hall.

"It’s a way of life for a number of people," said Mr Fuller.

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In his letter, Mr Fuller notes a large number of Primetime members, along with other groups, use the hall for daily activities ranging from badminton, squash and other indoor sports.

He writes: "What does this mean for the hundreds of users of the present facility, in particular the sports hall and squash courts?

"It would immediately put a ‘stop’ to the exercise they currently enjoy and need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which flies in the face of the advice being given and also being promoted by the government

and various health organisations."

Another concerned resident, Christine Hodge, echoed this in her own letter seen which expresses her disappointment at the lack of a multi-purpose sports hall for those who use it in favour of Tag-Active.

She wrote: "The current group sees up to 40 individuals meeting to play badminton, but membership of Prime Time, which also includes Primemovers, swimming, table tennis and pilates brings the membership total to nearer 100.

"What happens to all these activities when the sports hall and practice halls disappear?"

She also notes the proposed swimming pool for the new centre would be reduced to 25 metres, down from the existing 33-metre pool which also contains flumes and a diving pit, which could impact the diving clubs which use it.

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When asked for a response to these claims, a council spokesman said: "White Oak Leisure Centre is more than 50 years old and is coming to the end of its planned life so we are proposing to make a major investment in a new, modern, energy efficient centre.

"We are working closely with independent industry experts to draw up a business plan to ensure the new centre can meet the needs of local people while generating income to help sustain it in the future.

"Based on this plan, we are proposing to include a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool and learner pool, two large studios (suitable for yoga, dance and exercise classes and other activities), a 100-station modern gym, a Feel Good Wellness Suite (power assisted exercise equipment), Tag Active, Parkour and multi-functional rooms.

"The new centre will accommodate the majority of the existing activities while offering new ones. Every effort will be made to find alternative accommodation for activities that cannot take place at the new centre.

"We estimate the new leisure centre will cost around £17 million to build and equip funded by the sale of new homes on the site and a loan repayable over a number of years. By building a new centre, there will be minimal interruption to services."