A DESIGN row is making waves at the new £12.8m Hebburn hub scheme.
There is anger that a sauna being included in the state-of-the-art town centre facility will not include a rest room for regulars, including pensioners.
Adam Naylor, who uses the sauna at the existing Hebburn Swimming Pool, said the lack of a rest room will hit people using the hub and undermine it as a community facility.
Mr Naylor has collected more than 100 names on a petition, calling for the design of the hub to be changed to include a rest room.
He said: “I’ve used the sauna at Hebburn Swimming Pool for many years, and the rest room is where people of all ages meet to chat and socialise.
“It’s especially useful for older folk, who can spend hours chatting in the rest room after a sauna.
“I was amazed when I was told the Hebburn hub sauna will not include a rest room or anywhere for people to sit after a sauna.
“It’s really essential for a sauna to have a rest room, and it’s a way of life for people at Hebburn Swimming Pool.
“It’s supposed to be the people’s hub, and the rest room should be part of the scheme.”
Mr Naylor, of Bede Burn Road, Jarrow, also has concerns about other internal design features of the hub.
Coun Jim Sewell, for the Monkton ward, said he fully supports moves to have a rest room for the sauna.
He said: “This is not the first person who has raised concerns about the lack of a rest room. If there was a rest room in the old sauna, there should be one at the new place.
“I have told those with a petition that I fully support them, but I don’t know whether we can change the design of the hub once it is built.”
Due to be completed by March 2015, the two-storey hub will include a six-lane swimming pool, learner pool, library, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft-play area, learning centre and café, plus meeting rooms and a customer service centre.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Our officers have arranged to meet a representative of the group objecting to the lack of rest room.”