In the 50 years since its inception DAWC has been and still is extremely proud to boast of the very many athletes in a wide range of sporting disciplines who have trained, and do train, at the Marinecraft Gym.

The list is a genuine roll of honour and includes the McCaig brothers who ran for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in Australia, Glen Stewart who was coached by father Lachie, himself a Commonwealth gold medallist, John McEwan who represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games winning silver medal and only this year won bronze at the European Masters Championships for Olympic weighlifting. Marinecraft Gym is self-funding and non-profit making, any money raised through membership etc is used to buy equipment for the gym.

We receive no funding from WDC, on the contrary it is a struggle even to have basic maintenance carried out.

Despite the promise of the council at that time to address the state of the toilets by installing a septic tank because the existing waste drain behind the building had been collapsed, the council subsequently claimed that SEPA refused permission for a septic tank on the grounds of the water table.

If the water table is unsuitable for a septic tank for less than 200 gym members, what are the chances of it coping with a drainage system for thousands of school pupils and staff?

Incidentally, the toilet situation at Marinecraft Gym remains unchanged, indeed the attitude of one council official is that they don’t want to spend any money on repairs or maintenance to the gym because if the new school gets the go ahead the gym “will be bulldozed”.

Whilst I write primarily on behalf of the members of Marinecraft Gym/DAWC, I am also aware that there are a great many local residents and members of the public who are strongly opposed not only to the building of a school, but indeed to the building of any large development on Posties/Levengrove Park on the grounds that it is in fact a park for leisure and recreation and is in fact an excellent local resource.

Furthermore, I understand that the results of the test boring show the site to be unsuitable for such a construction project without spending large sums on money on piling.

If this is the case, why is it that certain members of the council seem determined to press ahead against professional advice?

This makes one wonder whether there is some sort of hidden agenda.

Hopefully this, in my opinion, flawed proposal will be shelved, and a more suitable site found for this development — why not the old Ballantynes brown field site on the opposite side of the river?

This would leave Posties/Levengrove Park unspoilt and certainly leave us to continue doing what we do best — producing more champions than any other gym in Scotland.

That is surely something which Dumbarton should be proud of.

Darren McCarroll President of Marinecraft Gym/ DAWC