Bosses at the Clickimin Leisure Centre are planning an overhaul of the main entrance which would see the revolving doors on the Lochside approach removed.
The plans have been developed to transform what the centre’s management sees an area that is ripe for improvement. In a design statement submitted to the council’s planning department architects PJP refer to replacing the “torturous” ramps and steps which provide access from Lochside.
But the proposals have led one community councillor to express concerns over road safety.
Lerwick Community Council chairman Jim Anderson said the changes would be likely to increase the number of cars using the Clickimin car park. He feared there may be road safety implications because he felt the junction into the Clickimin car park was one with poor visibility.
At Monday’s community council meeting Mr Anderson, referring to the proposals in conjunction with the recently opened indoor pitch, said: “What I’m worried about is that we have piecemeal changes and then we have a huge development and a not very adequate junction.”
Responding to Mr Anderson’s concerns Clickimin manager Robert Geddes said the council’s planning and roads departments had not expressed any specific concerns to that nature but that the leisure centre was open to “looking at car parking and drop off points to hopefully better manage” any increased traffic.
Mr Geddes said that footfall from the Lochside entrance was likely to decrease once the new Anderson High School opens in October. This is because that entrance is most commonly used by school children walking down from the bus stop, he said.
Once the school is open these same pupils are more likely to enter the Clickimin using the rear entrance, adjacent to the car park.
Mr Geddes accepted that many people still considered the revolving door entrance to be the “main” access point, especially those walking to the swimming pool from within Lerwick.
“It’s like an icebox in the winter and a sauna in the summer.” Robert Geddes
He said: “I imagine people might go to the wrong entrance a couple of times at first but they’ll eventually get used to it and probably forget there was ever any other entrance.”
If approved the work at Clickimin will see the revolving door and “glazed entrance link” demolished, effectively diverting all footfall through the rear entrance.
A new central reception area will be built to cater to both swimming and “dryside” customers. They also hope to level the series of ramps and stairs beside the Lochside entrance and extend the building into that area to form a new fitness suite.
The glazed area when first entering the building is considered to be unsatisfactory, in terms of “environmental control”, Mr Geddes said.
“It’s like an icebox in the winter and a sauna in the summer.”
By altering this area of the leisure centre Mr Geddes hopes the Clickimin can become more energy efficient.