The future of a new multi-million pound leisure centre will come down to whether residents want it – or not.
That’s the message coming from South Ribble Council, which is set to launch a public consultation with residents over the proposed £14.5 million leisure centre.
And a council spokesman has revealed that a decision over the centre’s future is to be put in the hands of residents.
They said: “The idea, suggested in 2017, to build a new £14.5 million leisure centre in Leyland is something that we will be consulting residents on shortly – therefore it is in their hands to tell us whether it is something they want or not.”
The consultation launch comes as the council looks to scrap its plans to bring leisure facilities to land off Croston Road at Farington Moss, which the Post previously revealed was at one point an option for the new leisure centre – something the council has since denied.
A spokesman said: “The site has never been earmarked as a possible location for any leisure centre.
“Other sites mooted for a new leisure centre have not yet been discussed.”
They added that the site was only considered for outdoor use such as football pitches and play areas.
The Post also revealed that options to close Leyland, Penwortham and Bamber Bridge leisure centres – and replace them with one ‘super centre – were mooted in a secret report to the council in January 2017.
The council spokesman added: “There are no plans for the closure, in the foreseeable future, of the three existing facilities: Leyland Leisure Centre, Penwortham Leisure Centre, and Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre.”
At Thursday the council’s planning committee, councillors have been recommended to approve a decision to relinquish its option to own land at the site off Croston Road – which is part of larger plans by Homes England to build 400 houses in the town.
As compensation, the council is set to receive £295,000, something the council has said is a “great deal” due to no prior requirement for the money to be offered.
A council spokesman could not confirm how the money would be spent but that it would be invested “in the right place with the right kind of leisure provision”.
There will also be six consultation events for residents over the future of health, wellbeing and leisure in the borough for the public to have their say on what they want going forward.
For more information on the consultation, see www.southribble.gov.uk