THE opening of Didcot’s new £22m leisure centre will be delayed by a year because negotiations to buy land have stalled, according to a leading councillor.
The new centre, which will include a 25m eight-lane pool, is due to open as part of a 2,000-home estate at North East Didcot, north of the Ladygrove estate.
But the original opening date of 2016 is now being put back to 2017 because South Oxfordshire District Council has so far been unable to buy the land, owned by Reading University.
Bill Service SODC’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “It’s very disappointing but so far South Oxfordshire District Council has not yet been able to buy the land it needs, about seven hectares, for the leisure centre.
“Negotiations started two years ago but unfortunately we have not been able to make much progress and so we have to be realistic and say 2017 is a likely opening date, not 2016 because we can’t get started on sorting out the sewerage and the roads until we own the land.
“It seems Reading University won’t sell the land until it is completely satisfied with certain aspects of the planning application.
“We have had several crunch meetings on this and we will continue to meet until we can move forward.”
Council leader Ann Ducker added: “The discussions regarding the council buying the land for the leisure centre are deadlocked at the moment but we are pushing as hard as we can and will continue to do so. We need to get the land ownership tied up before we can move forward, so it could be early in 2017 before we can open the new leisure centre.”
Earlier this year, SODC leaders agreed an additional £7.36m should be invested in the new centre. It was originally expected to cost £15m.
Daniel Hayman, of the North East Didcot Partnership, representing Reading University and developer Croudace Homes, said: “The provision of the leisure centre site is reliant on the delivery of the wider North East Didcot scheme. The leisure centre site is an important part of the wider development and there is commitment from all parties to see it delivered.”
- Top News
Our top stories:
Update: Bullfinch: More than 350 youngsters potential abuse victims as campaigner calls for action not apologies
7:46am Monday 2nd March 2015
MORE than 350 youngsters in Oxfordshire have been identified as potential victims of groomers, the Oxford Mail understands.
3:52pm Monday 2nd March 2015
The M40 has reportedly been closed northbound between J8 and J8A near the Wheatley services due to an accident.
2:01pm Monday 2nd March 2015
International rap superstar Kanye West is expected in Oxford this afternoon for a talk at the Museum of Natural History.
9:00am Monday 2nd March 2015
THE SKELETON of a woman thought to be nearly 400 years old has been unearthed at an Oxford college.
8:44am Monday 2nd March 2015
PUPILS across the county will find out today whether they have got their first-choice of school as Oxfordshire County Council issues places for secondary schools today.
8:30am Monday 2nd March 2015
TWO dancing grannies took over the streets of Oxford as the city’s main annual dance festival got into full swing.
8:30am Monday 2nd March 2015
PLANS for new legislation following the death of a Headington boy will be announced by the Minister for Health this week.
8:00am Monday 2nd March 2015
A £3m cash boost will make a proposed cycling link between East Oxford and the city centre using a new bridge over the Thames a reality.
7:22am Monday 2nd March 2015
The traffic lights at Kennington roundabout are causing problems this morning.
7:00am Monday 2nd March 2015
A MEMORIAL garden to a murdered teenager will allow her family to make a “new start”.
6:30am Monday 2nd March 2015
A CITY heritage group has called new proposals for getting residents more involved in planning decisions nothing more than a “boxticking”exercise.
6:00am Monday 2nd March 2015
A VILLAGE’S threatened Post Office may have secured its long-term future following crunch talks, its postmaster has said.
1:20pm Sunday 1st March 2015
A MAN brandishing a broken bottle robbed a bookmakers in Bicester yesterday.
11:55am Sunday 1st March 2015
Police seized this £200,000 Ferrari 458 on the M40 in Oxfordshire this morning.