New leisure centre is one step closer

a NEW multi-million pound leisure centre for Belper has moved a step closer — ahead of a planned meeting tonight.

The proposed leisure centre, which would be off Field Lane, has caused much controversy in the town and could cost about £11.5 million.

But now, Amber Valley Borough Council has carried out a feasibility study into the centre.

The study found that the centre, which will include a six-lane 25-metre swimming pool, a 13-metre teaching pool and a multi-use sports hall, is appropriate for the site.

Tonight, November 2, councillors were due to discuss the proposal and the options for financing it at a full council meeting.

Plans to discuss the proposal at a council meeting in September were shelved at the 11th hour because, said a council spokesman, a report was not finalised.

The design for the centre, by Healey Associates, of Leeds, also includes a fitness suite and a health suite.

An 85-space car park is included in the plans for the centre, which could be built by 2013.

Planning permission has already been approved for the site but a council spokesman said the development was progressing on a stage-by-stage basis.

But news of the study is sure to infuriate locals opposed to the plans.

Many have voiced their opinions on a new centre, claiming it is not needed in Belper. The town already has a leisure centre on Kilbourne Road.

A public consultation on the new centre earlier this year was also slammed, with many saying it only represented a tiny fraction of the Belper population’s opinions.