Council buys land to secure leisure ambitions

Amber Valley Borough Council has bought the land it needs to build a dedicated new leisure facility in Belper. The 0.8 acres of land situated off Field Lane was purchased for £1.136 million directly from a private owner in November, funded from existing Council resources.  Doing this now has resulted in significant savings in VAT and stamp duty.

The Council now has combined area of 2.1 acres of land in the Town Centre that can be used for building a multi-million pound new leisure centre for Belper and the surrounding areas.  The combined area is slightly larger than the former Focus DIY site, which was purchased in November 2010 for £3.5 million by a private company.

The existing Field Lane Car Park, which is already owned by the Council, would be retained and improved as part of any development.

A new leisure facility would include a 25 metre, six lane swimming pool; a training pool with movable floor; a four badminton court sports hall; and a 70 station fitness suite with dedicated, air conditioned exercise studio.

The Council has only committed funds to the step of purchasing the land.  The next steps such as any review of the design, the tender process for the building and operation of the leisure centre, and the funding of the works, will be the subject of further consideration and the approval of the Council, before they go ahead.

The proposed developer will create a temporary coach and car park next to the existing car park on Field Lane at a cost of £50,000.  The works to demolish the building will start as soon as possible, and the parking works are expected to be completed by early in the New Year, subject to the grant of planning permission.

Disruption will be kept to a minimum throughout any works, but it may result in the temporary loss of some spaces in the existing car park.

Councillor Chris Short, the Cabinet Member for Active and Healthier Places to Live said: "Securing the land not only demonstrates our commitment to progress plans to develop the leisure facility, but also demonstrates that we're committed to obtaining best possible value for the taxpayer.  The project always has been and will continue to be progressed on a step-by-step basis, so that the Council is only committed to each step.  Our next step will be to establish funding opportunities to build the facility itself, and then to meet the future leisure needs of the people of Belper and surrounding areas."

For further information please contact Luke Barrett Communications Manager on 01773 841 655 or email luke.barrett@ambervalley.gov.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Plan showing land with Belper Leisure facility proposals

Plan showing existing land without Belper Leisure proposals

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