CLOSURE of a number of sports clubs, yoga classes and the loss of more than 950,000 visitors per year could be the knock-on impact on the Basingstoke Sports Centre if the proposed hotel in Basing View is given the green light.

That is according to the sports centre, which is based in the town centre.

Run by the charity organisation Basingstoke Sports Trust, it has raised concerns of what impact the hotel would have on them.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council approved the lease to US company Village Hotels to potentially build a 153- room hotel, with full leisure facilities, conference spaces and a restaurant, bar and coffee shop.

It is the potential leisure facilities which concerns the sports trust, as it would put the hotel in direct competition with the sports centre.

Chief executive of the Basingstoke Sports Trust James Starbuck said: “We aren’t objecting to the idea of a hotel, even though research shows there isn’t need for one.

“But it would be the use of extensive leisure facilities which would affect us.

“A big worry is that the hotel would have 250 free parking spaces, where as our members have to rely on council run car parks or the multi-story in Festival Place.

“So the parking charges on top of their membership all adds up.

“We feel like we have a good strong offer we can give members, but when you take the parking into account it will have an impact on people’s finances.”

Mr Starbuck told The Gazette that is not just the potential loss of 180 jobs, but it is all the work the trust does as a charity which would be lost.

In a letter to this newspaper chairman of the board of trustees Martyn Frost made the point that the centre is run by an independent charity and has no affiliation with the borough council.

He said: “We have thrived over the years to the point where 99 per cent of our income is raised through fees and charges.

“We continue to adapt to changes in the leisure industry to meet customer expectations and, just as importantly, every square foot of usable space within the Sports Centre has been developed to provide a wide range of activities within the building.”

Council cabinet member for property and development, Cllr John Izett said council is supportive of the centre, investing more than £5million since 2000.

He said: “Our aim in regenerating Basing View is to attract more employers and jobs to the area and as part of this we need to offer high quality leisure facilities on site for employees to enjoy at lunch breaks and at work.

“The sports centre recently sent us their own impact assessment.

“We are carefully considering this and continue to liaise with them."