Tewkesbury: Plans For New Leisure Centre

14 May 2014, 09:36 | Updated: 14 May 2014, 10:59

Swimming Lesson

Proposed outline plans for a new leisure centre for Tewkesbury Borough will be revealed as part of a pre-planning application consultation.

Proposed outline plans for a new leisure centre for Tewkesbury Borough will be revealed as part of a pre-planning application consultation. 

Tewkesbury Borough Council is working towards building a new leisure centre to replace its current one, called Cascades, and this consultation will be the very first stage of the council gathering public views on draft plans. 

The consultation will take place between Wednesday, 21 and Saturday, 31 May with a specific event taking place on 21 May at Cascades Leisure Centre in Tewkesbury from 12noon and 2pm and 6pm to 8pm. 

Importantly, at this early stage, the council wants to make it clear that the consultation at this stage is to get the public's view on the general site plan as part of the planning process. More detailed consultation using an artist impression and 3D images is anticipated to take place in July, once the final design has been worked up. 

The consultation will instead allow people to comment on the specific location of the new leisure centre on the council offices site, as well as draft ground and first floor plans. 

The borough council, which has already agreed that a site located within the council grounds is the preferred and most value-for-money location, hopes to make savings by providing a centre with a wider range of energy-efficient facilities that will help to generate more income. 

It is also anticipated that a new centre will support the council's Health and Well-being Strategy to increase participation
in sport and improve the health of the community. In addition, it has been agreed that building a new leisure centre is the most cost effective option because refurbishment costs to bring the current Cascades Leisure Centre up to a modern standard have been estimated to be at least £3.8million. 

It is also predicted that the existing facility, which was built more than 40 years ago, will continue to cost more to maintain and run. 

The new centre is proposed to include a 25m main pool and 20m learner/training swimming pool, which means there will be more water space than is currently available at Cascades, and there will be more dry side facilities available too, including a 60 station gym, health suite, a flexible activities studio for dance, fitness classes and children's parties, as well as cafe and a shop.

To ensure customers continue to have a leisure centre to use, Cascades would remain open while the new facility was built. Rebuilding on the current site where Cascades is currently located was considered to be an unsuitable option for a new centre because it would have resulted in customers being without a local leisure centre while the building work took place.

The current site is also part of the Tewkesbury Town Centre Master Plan, which aims to revamp Spring Gardens and Bishop's Walk to support and enhance the town centre. 

Tewkesbury Borough Council's Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing Cllr Claire Wright said: ''This represents a significant step forward in our ambition to build a new leisure centre. Although we aren't yet at the stage where we can ask people for their views on the design of the new leisure centre, this is still an important consultation because we want to know what people think of the proposed general site plan, including the different floors. We really hope that we get responses from both our customers who already use Cascades as well as people who have views on a new leisure centre for Tewkesbury Borough.'' 

Alongside the event taking place at Cascades Leisure Centre, the consultation will be available online at until 31 May. 

Throughout the build of the new leisure centre, the council will be using the hashtag #Tewkesburyleisure, which will allow users to get involved with the consultation and to see progress via their Twitter accounts.