THE Springwood car park is expected to be confirmed as the site chosen for a new £26m sports centre, despite protests.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet members are being recommended to give it their approval – instead of the car park at St Andrews Road – at a meeting next week.
Council leader Robert Light said: “There has been extensive consultation on the sports centre issue, with users of the centre and residents who will be affected by the site we are now proposing.
“This is a major project. The concerns of residents in the immediate area of the Spring Grove site are issues we are taking very seriously.
“As this project progresses they will be consulted all the way along the line.
“The siting of the sports centre itself will be on the part nearest to the ring road. There will be a buffer of car parking between the centre and the residents’ homes and sensitive and carefully planned landscaping to minimise the impact.
“I hope that, at the end of the day, we will have a development that residents are happy with and that complements their quality of life.”
The scheme is part of multi-million pound regeneration plans, which will see the current sports centre on Southgate demolished to make way for a new Tesco supermarket.
The company’s current store, on Viaduct Street, will be flattened to be replaced by housing, offices, shops and a hotel.
Clr Light added: “This overall regeneration package is important in its own right, but is also a vital element of the wider ambitions and plans we have for Huddersfield as a whole.”
He said extra car parking spaces would be created in and around the town centre to replace the ones lost at Springwood.
“We are looking at a range of ideas and schemes to help the town centre as a whole in terms of all aspects of transport and access, not just car parking,” he added.
The new sports centre will be paid for by the sale of the existing site and money that would otherwise be needed for repairs to the current sports centre. It is due to open in 2011.
At its meeting on Wednesday, the Cabinet is also expected to give the go-ahead for a design and consultant team to be appointed for the scheme.
Members are also being recommended to approve planning applications for the sports centre project.