Westminster Lodge work to start this year

WORK on the new Westminster Lodge leisure centre could start as early as this December.

Planning permission was given just days before the district council election amid claims by opponents of the scheme that the size of the proposed pool was too small and the scheme was being rushed through with undue haste.

The council’s project team is now planning to put the project out to tender next month and appoint a construction contractor in October. If all goes according to plan, work will start on site in December.

The current Westminster Lodge centre will remain open until the new facility opens in late spring/early summer 2012, after which it will be demolished and the site landscaped.

Leader of the council Cllr Robert Donald said: “I am delighted that the development of a new leisure centre at Westminster Lodge can now go ahead. Of course further discussions will need to take place now with other partners to ensure the smooth implementation of the project.”

Sport and healthy living portfolio holder Cllr Sheila Burton added: “The redevelopment of Westminster Lodge is a key priority of the council and it is really good to have made progress and to be on track to deliver it in 2012.”