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Hopes for new city swimming pool as race to clear potential site is won

PUBLISHED: 09:35 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 21 August 2019

Norwich could be set for a new swimming pool. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich could be set for a new swimming pool. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Council bosses looking to build homes and, potentially a new swimming pool, have won a race against time to decontaminate a city site and avoid having to pay £1m to the government.

The Mile Cross depot, before demolition. Picture: GoogleThe Mile Cross depot, before demolition. Picture: Google

And councillors will hear in the autumn whether a £200,000 feasibility study into what should happen at the former Mile Cross depot site has concluded a public swimming pool could be built there.

The former depot, off Mile Cross Road, has been demolished ahead of Norwich City Council's intention to redevelop the site.

The council had to move quickly because £980,000 towards the £1.2m decontamination cost was in the form of a grant from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

And, under the terms of the grant, that work had to be done this year, or the council would have had to pay back that money to the government.

How the depot used to look. 
Photo: Bill SmithHow the depot used to look. Photo: Bill Smith

The council has hit that target, with the 10.5 acre site cleared.

It involved extensive demolition of buildings, clearance of materials and removal of above and below ground fuel tanks.

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Contaminated soil has been removed, and a soil protection barrier installed.

The former Mile Cross depot site has been cleared. Pic: Dan GrimmerThe former Mile Cross depot site has been cleared. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The assessment of the future use of the site is happening alongside analysis of findings from the feasibility study into the leisure needs of the city, with councillors set to get a report in the autumn.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: "The first stage of work to regenerate the site has been completed as scheduled using the funds allocated.

"Now that the land is clear, a thorough assessment is being conducted of how it can best be used to provide more quality homes, as well as facilities which complement the needs of the whole area."

The pools at Riverside and at the UEA Sportspark are available for public use.

But there has long been criticism that, following the closure of St Augustine's swimming pool in 1997, parts of the city are not well served.

It is possible a GP surgery could also be built at the site.

The council is considering whether to build hundreds of homes on the land itself, or whether to sell it to an outside developer.

The site used to be the council's City Works depot and then became the Mile Cross Business Centre.

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