Planning inspector gives go-ahead for redevelopment of leisure centre in Thorpe St Andrew
A leisure centre will be knocked down and rebuilt alongside 27 new homes after a planning inspector quashed a decision to refuse the scheme.
Developers Serruys Property Company Ltd sought permission to build on the Oasis Sport and Leisure Centre site in Thorpe St Andrew last year.
But Broadland District Council's planning committee turned down the plans due to concerns about a great crested newt population and the loss of trees.
A planning inspector has now overturned the decision and has granted developers permission to move forward with the project.
Broadland has also been told that it must pay any appeal costs.
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Inspector Claire Victory said the new homes would help meet an 'acknowledged' shortfall in the borough's housing supply.
She added: 'The Oasis Leisure Centre is currently in a poor condition and offers limited facilities.
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'Without redevelopment of the leisure centre, the centre would continue to fall into disrepair and is likely to become less viable as a commercial enterprise, with the result that the facilities may cease to become available to local residents in the future.'
The development, off Pound Lane, will see the existing Georgian leisure centre building knocked down and rebuilt on a field north of Tawny Lodge.
In papers submitted to the council, developers say the new facility is expected to cost in the region of £3m.
The new 1,400 sq m building will include a pool, spa, sauna, steam room, gym cafe and terrace.
A further 27 new homes will be built on the site, which the developer said was needed to pay for the leisure centre.
The original home dates back to 1797 and remained in private hands until the 1970s.
A survey of the site found that the development would have a minor negative effect on the bat and newt population in the area.
• What do you think to the plans? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684