A £36m sports centre for Huddersfield has moved a step closer.
Kirklees Council this week lodged its planning application to build a state-of-the-art leisure centre on Spring Grove Car Park in Springwood.
The centre, which could be open by 2012, would include a leisure pool complete with wave machine, flume and sidewinder.
There would also be a teaching pool, two large sports halls, a fitness suite and a children’s area.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “These new facilities would be a huge boost for Huddersfield, attracting visitors into the town centre from far and wide.”
The Spring Grove proposal is part of a massive redevelopment plan for the town centre which involves demolishing the existing sports centre on Southgate, along with the Ibbotson and Lonsbrough flats, to make way for a new Tesco.
The retail giant would knock down its current supermarket at Viaduct Street, replacing it with housing, offices, shops and a hotel.
The new Tesco on Southgate could open in 2014 while the Viaduct Street site could be redeveloped by 2016
Kirklees said last year that Tesco would pay a “substantial” part of the cost of the new sports centre.
Clr Khan believes the Southgate sports centre has to go.
He said: “There is a clear need to replace the existing sports centre, which is coming to the end of its natural life. It has a high risk of pool tank failure, is an increasing liability for local taxpayers and our consultation shows many people are put off by the dated facilities.
Upgrading the current centre would be costly and time-consuming. The building would have to be closed for up to two years, but in that same period a bespoke, value-for-money replacement could be built.
“Extensive research tells us a new sports centre would lead to a big increase in visitors. These are exciting proposals, though the decision of the planning committee is by no means a foregone conclusion.
“We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We can provide Huddersfield with a wonderful base for people to enjoy themselves and get active as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Public consultation on the Spring Grove plan will begin within weeks before the council’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee rules on the plan in late Spring.
The sub-committee will consider factors including the impact on the town centre, parking provision and highways issues.
Anyone who wants to have their say can visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/hsc.