LEAFLETS distributed to residents across St Albans claiming the new Westminster Lodge is a done deal have been branded misleading.

St Albans District Council's latest ‘Investing in Leisure’ leaflet begins with the headline 'New Westminster Lodge Gets Go-Ahead' even before its plans have been considered.

The St Albans Civic Society has condemned the council for its actions and has questioned whether or not plans for the leisure centre have been finalised.

The society, along with the newly formed Pool Too Small campaign group, says the existing pool is already overloaded and providing space for just an extra nine swimmers does not accurately meet the needs of the district.

Responding to the leaflet Peter Trevelyan, chairman of the civic society, said: “How else can you interpret the headline latently proclaiming “New Westminster Lodge Gets Go-Ahead”?

“Well it hasn't yet. There's still the matter of obtaining permission. However, the public confidence in the planning process could be undermined if councillors on the relevant committee are thought to be significantly prejudiced when they make their decision.”

The leaflet explains: “Cabinet for St Albans City and District Council gave the green light to the new leisure centre to be built adjacent to the existing Westminster Lodge, following a public consultation held during the summer.”

But Mr Trevelyan argues the permission will not be granted until the district council's planning committee discusses the plans and also highlights that cabinet members are not in a position to determine the application.

The Review has contacted the district council to respond to Mr Trevelyan's comments.