I see that Lend Lease is going to build another tower next to the Tabernacle on the site of the present Leisure Centre. Oh dear. There's a tower due (360 London) on the site of the old Park Hotel. If the shopping centre, instead of being pulled down, is going to produce another couple of towers, we are going to be seriously hemmed in around the E&C roundabouts. What about the skyline, Boris?
All the proposed towers are short enough to meet the viewing corridor restrictions imposed by BJ. We're going to end up with more 30ish story towers than the masterplan concept of a pair of taller towers on the shopping centre site, because of that restriction.
I don't think we'll be hemmed in. It's not the development I'd choose for the Leisure Centre site, but it is not necessarily bad either.
I'm pretty relaxed about a tall building on the site. Miffed about the loss of leisure facilities though. If we could have kept the leisure facilities in exchange for an even taller building I'd have been happy with the swap.
Yes, I'm mystified why they can't fit it all on the site - it's perfectly possible if it was treated as one project, Squash Courts can happily coexist with a basement parking area or use the lower floors of the tower (which are always unpopular anyway).
Yes, there are two sports halls now (and they are generally fully booked in the evenings - especially if you require a full hall) and there will only be one in the new centre. SE1 also lost an indoor hall (well, and indoor hall and a half really, when the Colombo centre turned into a gym - though there are better outdoor facilities there now).
The problem is that sports halls dont produce the same turnover that gyms do. So they get turned into gyms. But then where do football / volleyball / badminton / squash players go?
There is the case that The Elephant needs a large hall, for sports and public events. Right now half the users of the leisure centre use it every Sunday as a church - over a thousand people.
The sports hall appears to have been ignored in the rush to find a buyer for the site.