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Orion Cinema

Triangle Leisure Centre Roof Falls Down As Council Ignored Safety Fears

14th January 2012
By Peter Chapman

On Tuesday 3rd January, it was rather windy. Nothing near hurricane levels but strong enough to blow down some fences and perhaps a poorly designed, shoddy roof....

If you had been at the Triangle Leisure Centre car park that morning you would have been met by staff, frantically keeping people away from the entrance of the centre as pieces of roofing were flying through the air like giant razor blades.

This is the Triangle Leisure Centre, paid for with tax payers money. This building should be of high quality. Now, the area of roofing in question was only replaced a few years ago before the centre was handed over to the Freedom Leisure management company.

This is the very same roof that was highlighted to the council as being of very poor design (like the majority of the centre) If the council had acted upon the large report sent to them by a member of the public then this incident could have been avoided. In fact, Burgess Hill Uncovered featured the best bits of the report last year. A quote from our feature included:

"By 2007 it had reached the point whereby the structure was completely ruined, and any strong gust of wind coming through could easily have resulted in the metal panels coming lose and falling to the ground, causing serious injury."

The entrance roof as it was in 2007. Even Stevie Wonder could see it was going to
fall down some day. Why didn't the council ensure a safer design was implemented?

A week following the roofing falling down, barriers are surounding the main entrance, the public forced to use a fire exit on the side of the building to gain entry.

So what will happen with the roof? Will building insurance cover the cost of the repairs, or will the tax payer have to foot the bill again? Will it be a like-for-like replacement?

The Triangle roof as it was mid-week, barriers preventing public from gaining access.

Strangely, local newspapers have not reported on this rather major issue. It was an incident that was a major health and safety issue to the public. Are the council being protected?

The Triangle has of course received a glowing audit report in the past, a report that was compiled in part by seeking the feedback of a number of individuals working for and connected to the council. Many high profile councillors took part. Not a single member of the public was consulted. This of course totally flies in the face of the substantial doucment which was submitted to the District Council by a member of the public, detailing many areas of fault at the Leisure Centre.

If someone had been hurt from these flying pieces of metal on Tuesday 3rd January, then blood would have been on the hands of the District Council. They had been warned to the dangers of the roof. In no way can they attempt to claim ignorance on this issue.

We shall now all have to wait and see if the council make a response as a result of our news report.
Don't bother holding your breath though readers.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Were you at the Triangle Leisure Centre at the time of the incident? Can you add any more details as to what happened? Is anyone surprised that the council have not acted on the warnings about the roof and their failure to make it safer? Some councillors will be reading this story, why don't you make a comment?

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