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:

UPDATE: Pedestrian seriously injured in Abingdon Road collision

Oxford Mail:

1:31pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

PARAMEDICS are currently treating a badly injured pedestrian at the scene of a collision in south Oxford.

GBH at Bicester shopping village

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A man has had his sentencing adjourned yesterday for causing grievous bodily harm in a shopping centre.

One killed, two hurt in three-car smash near Brize Norton

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A PERSON was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Witney Road near Brize Norton yesterday.

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Farewell to Abingdon boy Skye Hall, who lived his short life to full

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

IN the final hours of his life, brave youngster Skye Hall showed incredible strength and told people to remember to make the most of what they have.

Silent disco planned in memory of Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Details have been announced for a silent disco to raise money for a memorial commemorating crash victim Liberty Baker.

Illegal drivers caught in police operation on Abingdon Road

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Six drivers using mobile phones and 12 not wearing a seatbelt were stopped by police yesterday.

Proposals for Chipping Norton homes revealed as part of West Oxfordshire Local Plan

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

RESIDENTS in Chipping Norton were given a glimpse into what their town could look like in the future.

Water firm calls on YOU to join the war on ‘fatbergs’

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

OXFORD’S water provider called on customers not to pour fat down the sink as part of its “war on fatbergs.”

All systems go for Frideswide Square revamp

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

INITIAL work began yesterday on the redevelopment of Frideswide Square.

RAF job no child’s play for this reservist mum

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

FOR Cheryl Huntbach, the news isn’t just a source of information – it could show her where her next job will be.

Buses get some F1 technology

Oxford Mail: Williams F1 Image by Craig Styles(C)

7:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A FORMULA One team from Oxfordshire has been the inspiration behind a new fleet of low emission buses.

Gifts galore as Facebook appeal couple tie the knot

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A COUPLE who turned to Facebook for help to get married tied the knot at the weekend after being inundated with offers of support.

Golf club puts a defibrillator device in gym

Oxford Mail: Responder department manager Dick Tracey before his charity head, beard and moustache shave. Pictures: OX63860 Denis Kennedy

6:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A GOLF club near Faringdon has installed life-saving equipment after a man died there earlier this year.

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