Kenilworth leisure centre consultation

We would like to thank everybody who took part in the recent public consultation about improving the facilities at Castle Farm Recreation Centre and Abbey Fields Swimming Pool. The consultation finished in November and we have received feedback from a range of stakeholders; including local residents, local schools, national governing bodies of sport, sports clubs, swimming clubs and statutory bodies.

At Castle Farm Recreation Centre there was clear support from respondents for the outline option proposed by the Council to provide a brand new recreation centre, which would include a new sports hall, gym and group exercise studios. There were areas of concern about the impact of traffic and the potential future re-location of the Wardens sports club to the site. We acknowledge this feedback and are committed to addressing these concerns where possible as part of the planning process.

At Abbey Fields Swimming Pool the feedback from residents was split relatively evenly between the two outline options proposed which were:- a) the wholesale refurbishment and retention of the existing outdoor pool and b) wholesale refurbishment and provision of an indoor family pool with an associated outdoor area. Approximately one third of respondents were in support of retaining the outdoor pool, another third preferred the family pool and the remaining third expressed no preference. In addition, a quarter of all responses supported a further option proposed by a local group “Restore Kenilworth Lido”, which is to provide a new 25m outdoor pool.

We have used this information to inform its next steps for further development of the design options Information about this is documented in a report to be considered by the Council’s Executive Committee on Wednesday 9 January. You can see a copy of the report including more detail about the consultation feedback.

There will be a further opportunity for the community to provide feedback on the proposals when planning applications are made for the improvement works.

The story so far

Having recently completed the improvement works to Newbold Comyn and St Nicholas Park Leisure Centres, we are now focused on improving the facilities at Abbey Fields and Castle Farm to the same high standard. During Summer 2018 the Council engaged a professional design team and together we started the initial design and feasibility work. After some consideration we developed a set of outline options on which we recently consulted the public. In drawing up these options we took account of the Sport England Facilities Planning Model and revised Indoor Sports Strategy (2018) which both evidence the need for additional sports hall and swimming pool space.  

As part of the process the team initially considered numerous options which were then assessed on design quality, flexibility, customer requirements, operational effectiveness and anticipated value for money.  This led to the short-listed options, which were agreed by the Council’s Executive Committee in September.  In doing this a number of options were discounted. The reasons for this and the process we have followed are set out in the Executive report where you can find a copy of the report, including further information on the design process undertaken to date.  

Your views are helping us to determine the options to be taken forward for further development by the professional design team. A recommendation will be made in January 2019 to the Council’s Executive of a detailed design at each site. The recommendation will seek to balance the needs and requirements of the local community, as well as affordability and technical considerations. There will be an opportunity to comment on the detailed design of the preferred scheme for each site at the planning application stage.