A CAR park has been chosen as the site of a new sports centre.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet decided yesterday to build the centre on the site of Springwood car park, despite protests from residents.
An alternative site at St Andrews Road car park was ruled out.
The new sports centre, which is due to open in 2011, is part of multi-million pound regeneration plans.
It would be a replacement for the current sports centre at Southgate which would be demolished so that Tesco can build a new supermarket.
If plans are submitted and approved, the store giant’s present supermarket at Viaduct Street would be flattened allowing Tesco to use the site for a large development including housing, offices, shops and a hotel.
The new sports centre will be paid for by the sale of the existing sports centre site.
The high-value site also includes the land occupied by a two-tier car park, a council computer centre and two multi-storey residential tower blocks.
But the council will also add to this the money it says would otherwise be needed for repairs to the current sports centre.
Cabinet member for leisure Clr Liz Smaje believes a new sports centre is badly needed.
She said: “There is overwhelming support for a new centre as the existing facility is not thought fit for use.”
But the Cabinet meeting heard objections to the new centre from elderly residents of Springwood.
They told councillors that they feared the centre would mean an increase in noise, rubbish and undesirable people in the area.
They added that the existing car park was used by elderly residents for exercise and said that a new sports centre would pollute the air.