London Colney leisure centre scheme on hold

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

A Plan B is being drawn up for a multi-million pound leisure centre development after St Albans district council ended negotiations with contractors chosen to develop the site.

It is thought the council will now take on the project to provide state-of-the-art leisure facilities at Cotlandswick Open Space in London Colney, following the termination of its involvement with DC Leisure Management (DCLM).

Cllr Mike Wakely, portfolio holder for sports, leisure and heritage, said money had proved the “root of all evil” and that was why they had decided not to move forward with the firm.

But he said it should not delay the schedule to start building work this autumn, adding: “We are engaging with key stakeholders at the moment. We want to get everyone’s agreement they are happy and satisfied.”

The proposal, which received planning permission in December, includes a 60-station fitness gym, exercise studio, sports hall and seven synthetic turf pitches.

It has been under discussion for several years but in 2011 when a fire destroyed Batchwood golf and tennis centre the development was put on the “back-burner” while a tender was found.

London Colney councillor Dreda Gordson said she felt residents had been kept in the dark regarding the progress of the scheme, but was pleased the council was still committed to providing the facilities which would address a shortage in the south of the district.

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She went on: “I would like to go back to what they are providing as I know concerned members of the public had reservations as to what is going to be provided on there.

“There seems to be an opportunity to look again at the plans.”

The project is due to be discussed at tonight’s cabinet meeting.

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