A HOT planning issue has prompted a campaign leader to call a feature of the new £12.8m Hebburn hub scheme “a step backward”.
Campaigners are unhappy about the sauna facilities included in plans for the new hub development taking shape in Hebburn town centre.
Petition leader Adam Naylor claims the sauna and steam room in the two-storey building are too far apart, and is also protesting about the lack of a rest room.
It is claimed the hub sauna facilities will be inferior to those already available in Hebburn Swimming Pool.
Mr Naylor will speak when he presents the petition at Hebburn community area forum, meeting at the Iona Club in Station Road, Hebburn, at 10am on Monday.
In his prepared statement to councillors, Mr Naylor will say: “We are not asking much, but it’s a facility that we like and any omission would be a step backwards.
“We would like to suggest to the committee and planners who will make a decision on this matter – please go down to the Hebburn Swimming Pool and take a look at what the facilities there are, and then you will understand why we are saying that the sauna and steam room are too far apart – and no rest room.”
Mr Naylor and fellow sauna campaigners initially believed the hub facilities would be “like for like,” but he added: “It was not until the later plans came out that they had included a sauna and steam room, but they were too far apart and worse still, they had not included a rest room.”
Coun Jim Sewell, for the Monkton ward, has supported Mr Naylor in his fight for the sauna plans to be changed within the Hebburn hub.
The sauna facility at Hebburn Swimming Pool is used by people of all ages, and is highly popular.
The Hebburn hub will include a six-lane swimming pool, learner pool, a new library, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, learning centre and cafe, plus a customer service centre and meeting rooms.
Coun John McCabe, vice-chairman of Hebburn forum, said: “Members will listen to the views of campaigners.”
But he has previously expressed some frustration that such views were not made known in the early planning stages of the Hebburn hub.