Stalled talks delay plans for new £22m leisure centre

Bill Service SODC’s cabinet member for leisure

Bill Service SODC’s cabinet member for leisure

First published in News

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:

Mixed views on payments of bonuses to NHS bosses

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

EIGHT health bosses received between £85,000 and £125,000 in bonuses last year, latest figures show.

Temporary lights causing delays between Witney and Long Hanborough

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

10:08am Thursday 2nd October 2014

DRIVERS are facing delays between Witney and Long Hanborough this morning.

Army says ‘sorry’ to para amputee bullying victim

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 2nd October 2014

THE Army has apologised after a paratrooper who lost three limbs in Afghanistan was bullied while working at RAF Brize Norton.

Move to Birmingham or be homeless, Syrian family told

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

MORE than 50 families have been relocated outside of the city so far this year, with Syrian refugees among the latest forced to move.

Community helps flood victims as looters strike

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

FLOOD victims left devastated after a water main burst in their street have rallied together in the aftermath of the disaster.

Memorial to Spanish civil war ‘would clutter up the square’

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 2nd October 2014

PLANS for a memorial to the Oxford residents who died in the Spanish civil war look to have hit a brick wall.

Army will apologise to paratrooper Tom Neathway after bullying claim at RAF Brize Norton upheld

Oxford Mail:

4:11pm Wednesday 1st October 2014

THE Army has said it will apologise to a paratrooper who lost three limbs in Afghanistan after his complaint of bullying was upheld.

Witney job centre cordoned off after suspicious package scare

Oxford Mail:

11:38am Wednesday 1st October 2014

A job centre was cordoned off after reports of a suspicious package.

Two road closures next week on A34 and in Oxford

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

10:52am Wednesday 1st October 2014

PARTS of the A34 and Walton Street will be closed next week as roadworks are carried out.

Thames Water under fire from residents who say they’ve been left in the dark

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

ANGRY residents flooded out of their homes say they are being left in the dark by Thames Water a week after disaster struck.

One lane of Botley Road shut for emergency work

Oxford Mail: Burst water main closes Lower Hall Lane in Chingford

9:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

THAMES Water started emergency roadworks in Botley Road last night.

WATCH: Right royal occasion as RAF hands on helicopters + video

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

PRINCE Andrew joined RAF personnel and Royal Navy staff as they paraded at RAF Benson yesterday to mark one of the base’s helicopter squadrons being officially disbanded.

Bridge fall man is still critically ill in hospital

Oxford Mail: Foorball forges links between police and youngsters

8:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

A man was last night still fighting for his life in hospital after falling from a bridge and colliding with a vehicle.

Sex with teen denied

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

8:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

A man has gone on trial accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:00pm Wed 21 May 14

Diddyman says...

Good, i hope for the towns sake it falls through. We have more than enough major developments happening around the town already!
Good, i hope for the towns sake it falls through. We have more than enough major developments happening around the town already! Diddyman
  • Score: 1

3:30pm Wed 21 May 14

Bridgefan says...

Wherever a new leisure centre is situated, many users will need to drive to it- so why not try to site it on the ring road, opposite ladygrove- for once, Ladygrove residents would have an amenity closer to them than the rest of didcot; it would enable easy access by car (and maybe by bus?) And what about requiring Aldi to site their new supermarket there too- far better than at the foot of the Broadway where increased car traffic seems likely to create major pressure on an already very busy junction.
MME (not a ladygrove resident!)
Wherever a new leisure centre is situated, many users will need to drive to it- so why not try to site it on the ring road, opposite ladygrove- for once, Ladygrove residents would have an amenity closer to them than the rest of didcot; it would enable easy access by car (and maybe by bus?) And what about requiring Aldi to site their new supermarket there too- far better than at the foot of the Broadway where increased car traffic seems likely to create major pressure on an already very busy junction. MME (not a ladygrove resident!) Bridgefan
  • Score: 1

8:22pm Thu 22 May 14

HPG says...

Build a fun pool for kids to go in anytime, not a pool where its taken up by clubs and schools, we already have a pool with lanes that clubs and schools takeover
Build a fun pool for kids to go in anytime, not a pool where its taken up by clubs and schools, we already have a pool with lanes that clubs and schools takeover HPG
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree