An action plan to reinvigorate leisure activities in Aylesbury Vale is nearing completion.
District bosses are concerned at a growing void in leisure facilities in the Vale – with Aylesbury’s long standing golf club at Bierton, which is to close at the end of this month, the latest casualty.
Jardines Tenpin Bowling Centre, the loss of Aylesbury United’s stadium at Buckingham Road and the closure of Watermead ski slope have added to the growing list of leisure losses in recent years.
And the future of Aylesbury Park Golf Club also looks grim with HS2 due to plough through its heart leading to likely closure.
Now an independent report has been commissioned and its recommendations for the area studied.
Cabinet member for leisure David Thompson is confident the contents of the report will be good news for residents.
He said: “The loss of any facility is regrettable. It’s a shame and a terrible thing. There are shortages in some areas hence why we have commissioned the survey. We are still a growth area.
“I would like to see the flooding problem in Vale Park sorted first. Then wouldn’t it be nice to have a volleyball pitch in the summer months?”
Councillor Thompson said he had been lobbied by people keen on a volleyball pitch and improving basketball facilities.
“We need to increase ways and means of maximising the green space we have in front of Aqua Vale as well ,” he said.
“People will hopefully see what Aqua Vale has to offer and that will hopefully get more people involved in sport activities, in the pool or in the park.”
Whilst Mr Thompson acknowledged the planned increase in Aylesbury’s housing and the lost facilities he said all were privately owned and the council had their hands tied when facilities like Aylesbury Golf Club decide to close.
He added loss of government grants in the past two years had compounded the issues.
“I will fight tooth and nail to keep community buildings open for the community.
“But this is public money and we can’t just spend it ‘willy nilly’.”
The directors of Aylesbury Golf Club did not want to discuss the sale. The driving range however is to remain open.