New look pool plans unveiled

Plans for the new look Dunstable Leisure Centre have been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council.

The controversial scheme will see the centre close for redevelopment for around 18 months which has angered many users.

But the planning documents say although other sites were looked at, which would mean the centre could stay open while a new one was built, as happened in Flitwick, no site was deemed suitable.

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“The current site is the best site for Dunstable Leisure Centre and the library as it is well located within Dunstable town centre adjacent to a range of education, retail, leisure, recreation and cultural servcies. It is easily accessible by public transport and has convenient car parking facilities,” says the submission.

The report says there are major issues with the current building, including problems with the roof, and the air handling in the pool hall.

“The main pool hall roof is currently netted to mitigate any potential failure of the roof and this has given customers cause for concern and lack of confidence in the service,” says the report.

During a consultation on the plans, the council received two petitions, one calling for a new leisure centre and one calling for facilities for the indoor bowls club to continue.

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While appeals for the bowls space and sub aqua facilities were rejected, the scheme will include a new 100 station health and fitness suite, a redesigned pool with turn walls in the main pool, improved facilities in the changing rooms and sports hall and better facilities for the disabled.

There will also be a new library, facilities for adult day care use, better creche facilities, a new cafe and an artificial sports pitch.

Requests to make the pool competition standard will not be included however. The report says there are already facilities at Biggleswade, Leighton Buzzard and Luton which cater for these.

The application can be seen in full online in Central Bedfordshire Council’s planning section. The public consultation period will be open for approximately 21 days under planning reference CB/16/04283.