I noticed last week that revised plans had been submitted for the replacement of the decaying Oak Park Leisure Centre at Walsall Wood. I thought I’d feature them here as a fair few folk are interested in the issue, and it remains somewhat contentious.
The revisions are relatively minor, and are detailed below the plan at the foot of this post, directly from the Statement of Planning Amendments submitted with the revised application. As the proposal is considered a ‘Major Application’ in law, even small changes mean the application has to be submitted again, this time as 13/1471/FL ‘Material Amendments to Planning Application 12/1422/FL for the construction of replacement leisure centre including new access off Coppice Road, new car parking area, refurbishment of existing artifical pitch (including new floodlights and fencing), demolition of existing leisure centre and provision of two new junior football pitches.’
I remain supportive of the application and project in principle, but still can’t see where the money is coming from. I did notice earlier this week that surveying and ground analysis is going on apace. In the current financial climate, I can well see these being part of, or a precursor to unloading Walsall Leisure Services off to a trust or some third party, as has occurred in Birmingham and other authorities.
I trust this also nails the lie circulating hereabouts that the Council wish to demolish the old Leisure Centre to build houses on the site; in this application that area is clearly marked for junior football pitches and no such proposal exists, or would succeed under the terms of the legal bonds the land is held under. When making such assertions it’s also worth considering just how many unacted planning permissions exist within a few miles for residential use. Yet another, particularly as this would be, sandwiched between a leisure centre and particularly fragrant KFC, would not be attractive to any developers.
One thing I did spot that I haven’t previously is the land next to Walsall Wood School, which I think used to be the Groundsmen’s Depot, is marked ‘Site to be used for future Scout Use.’ Anyone got any further info on that? Sounds positive.
As ever, comments and debate welcome, either on this post or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
The Statement of Planning Amendments submitted with the revised application for Oak Park says the following:
Walsall Active Living Centre at Oak Park
Statement of Planning Amendments
Sport England were consulted on the design proposals forming the original planning submission. At the time of the original submission, due to project funding deadlines it was not possible to fully resolve all of the internal spatial design challenges prior or during the planning approval process.
Following planning approval a number of workshops have been held with Sport England Architects which has resulted in a number of necessary design changes which will have a material effect.
The changes have been discussed with Walsall Planning Services and the amendments have been deemed as a ‘minor material’ change which will require a new application to be made as it is classed as a major development.
The changes can be broadly described as follows:-
- Rotation of the learner pool through 90 degrees which has resulted in the pool hall length being reduced.
- Relocation of the pool plant room and chemical store to the west elevation of the pool hall and now to be subterranean.
- Relocation of pool store to the west elevation of the pool hall giving access to plant room below.
- Associated alterations to localised paved areas around west elevation of pool hall.
- Internal rearrangement of poolside toilet and shower areas to be accommodated within wet changing areas.
- Omission of excess cycle storage.
- Introduction of a second platform lift.
- Re-design of external fire escape spiral stairs to incorporate disabled refuge area and requirement now to be fully enclosed.
- Internal rearrangement of first floor layout to include additional dry change provision, WC and shower facilities. The GIFA will remain unchanged; however there will be an impact on elevations in relation to glazing and walling changes.
- All these amendments have resulted in an associated reduction in ground floor GIFA of 66m²
Documentation submitted with the application can be accessed at the links below. They’re all PDF files and you’ll need Adobe Reader, but you know all that.
Proposed Elevations 1 Original.pdf
Proposed Elevations 1 Revised.pdf
Proposed Elevations 2 Original.pdf
Proposed Elevations 2 Revised.pdf
Proposed First Floor Plan Original.pdf
Proposed First Floor Plan Revised.pdf
Proposed Ground Floor Plan Original.pdf
Proposed Ground Floor Plan Revised.pdf
Proposed Site Plan Original.pdf
Proposed Site Plan Revised.pdf
Revised Planning Statement 25-10-13.pdf
Statement Of Planning Amendments.pdf