Badminton boss stands by Bowl move

editorial image
3
Have your say

The chief executive of Badminton England insists the organisation has been ‘fair and sympathetic’ to residents in Loughton over its move to the National Bowl.

Responding to criticism that a housing development to be built on the site of the existing National Badminton Centre would lead to an increase in traffic and parking problems on the estate, Adrian Christy said Badminton England had taken its responsibility seriously, and taken measures to alleviate the concerns of residents.

A total of 104 new homes will be built on the Bradwell Road site – a development helping to fund Badminton England’s new £22 million facility on brownfield land next to the Bowl – with work set to begin later this year.

Residents in Loughton have raised concerns that the new housing will lead to traffic problems on the estate, but Mr Christy disagrees.

He said: “We conducted a traffic report as part of our planning application and we actually think there will be less traffic along Bradwell Road in future.

“We have an average of 400 traffic movements a day at the National Badminton Centre, but we believe there will be 40 fewer as a result of the new housing.

“We have been very sensitive with regards to the concerns of residents in Loughton and have responded appropriately. There were going to be 144 new houses built on the site but we’ve taken that down to 104.

“I attended a meeting recently when I listened to the concerns of residents – raising issues like the loss of green space and noise from the A5. We will be extending the footpath and redway, plus building additional recreational space in the play area, and taking action to help with the noise from the A5, like planting trees and bushes next to the development.

“About £14 million will be generated from the enabling development partnership we have with Milton Keynes Council, which owns 70 per cent of the land at the old site. MK has a policy of enabling development, it’s how we get things done.”

Work on the new National Badminton Centre at the Bowl, which Mr Christy says will offer outstanding facilities to school children in the city, will begin later this year and is expected to be complete by spring 2015.

An artist’s impression of what it will look like is pictured above.