Planners give green light for new £13.1million pool and fitness centre in Whitchurch
Whitchurch’s new state of the art leisure centre is a step closer to reality after it was granted planning permission today (Thursday 5 October 2023).
The £13.1million new swimming and fitness centre, which is being funded by Shropshire Council, was granted planning approval under delegated powers, and construction is now expected to begin early next year.
The new centre will include a six-lane 25m pool, a 41-station fitness suite, multi-function rooms and a café with 20 covers.
The ground floor will accommodate the café, changing village and pool, which will be overlooking the brook. Upstairs there will be a 41-station gym with state-of-the-art equipment and a flexible studio space that can be divided into two rooms.
It is anticipated the centre will open in mid-2025.
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:-
“I am pleased that the planning application has been approved.
“Not only will it be a fantastic facility for the local community but we want it to be attracting visitors from outside the local area to help support the town’s economy and local businesses.
“The centre will be built to the most efficient energy standards in support of Shropshire Council’s aim of achieving net zero by 2030. It is a very exciting project to be part of.”
Peggy Mullock, a local Shropshire Councillor for Whitchurch North, added:-
“I am delighted that planning permission has been granted. It now means we are able to move forward with the development and soon offer more great opportunities for people living in Whitchurch and the surrounding areas to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Shropshire Council approved the £13.1m project after hearing that a new centre would be the most viable and cost-effective way to replace the current centre, which has not been able to open since the pandemic began.
Since the pool’s closure in March 2020 investigations to identify the cause of an ongoing leak at the facility and the practicalities of carrying out repair works showed that the swimming pool defects are such that it would not be able to reopen.
The design and proposals for the new pool won the support of the local community during a public consultation exercise earlier this year.