Planning recommended for approval for new Sport & Leisure Centre

Winchester City Council’s desire to provide a first-class, high-quality, affordable Sport & Leisure Centre to encourage people in the district to embrace an active, healthy lifestyle, has taken a major step forward after the Planning Committee recommended approval for the scheme at a Planning Committee meeting today. The Committee will formally issue approval over the coming weeks.   

Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Lisa Griffiths said:

“This is absolutely fantastic news and I am really delighted that the project has been granted planning approval. This outcome reflects all of the effort and work that has gone into our thorough and inclusive engagement and resulting high-quality design.

“There is still some more detailed work that needs to be done but this is such a positive outcome for the project and we look forward to starting work to deliver this fantastic facility.”

“We could not have achieved this without the input from residents, clubs, council officers and consultants - we are hugely grateful and thank each and every one of you for your input and support.”

The Sport & Leisure Centre will comprise a modern, well-designed, fully accessible building set in a park setting that will enable the district’s communities to engage in a wide range of indoor and outdoor sporting and leisure activities. 

Within the Centre, there will be a wide range of new facilities such as a 50m swimming pool, as well as a teaching pool and splash area for beginners.  It will also include a multi-use sports hall, a climbing wall, various studios, squash courts as well as a hydrotherapy suite with a pool that can be used to treat people with a wide range of disabilities and injuries.  

Ensuring that the Centre is as sustainable as possible is central to the project. The council is aiming for an excellent BREEAM rating which very few leisure centres across the country have achieved.  It will have a range of features including air source heat pumps, solar panels and a combined heat and power system.

Mike Lawless, Director of LA architects, said:

“As the Architects and Lead Consultant on this project, LA is delighted that the Winchester Sport & Leisure Park has passed this key planning milestone. The journey from the start has been one of engagement and dialogue with the people of the Winchester District in the development of the design that will now move forward. We will continue to develop a high-quality, elegant and sophisticated leisure centre for all people, and one that encourages as many forms of activity and social interaction as possible.”

The council’s partners, including the University of Winchester, The Pinder Trust and Hampshire County Council have all provided valuable input throughout the design process.