Decisions at Executive meeting – 4 September 2017Published Wednesday 6 September 2017
The outcomes of items considered at Harborough District Council’s Executive meeting on Thursday 4 September 2017.
Executive councillors recommended that Harborough District Council invests £16.6million to fund a new leisure centre to replace the existing, out-dated leisure centre in Market Harborough and to increase services at the Lutterworth Sports Centre.
It was agreed that this is the most cost-effective long-term option which will maximise the use of the council’s existing leisure assets and ensure they are ‘fit for the future’. It will also support the council’s vision for health by improving facilities and encouraging more physical activity.
It was also recommended that a further £5million be set aside for possible ‘desirable additions’ to the leisure centres (eg. café, health suite, bowls hall, squash courts, soft play area, etc) – with particular focus on facilities which could obtain a financial return for the taxpayer
The recommendations follow a public consultation on the future of leisure facilities which saw more than 2,300 responses. Councillors thanked the public for their participation in the survey. A summary of these responses can be viewed on the council’s website here. The public consultation supports the consultant’s original advice that the core facilities for a new centre at Market Harborough are swimming pool, sports hall (eg. used for badminton, table tennis, netball, basketball, trampolining, gymnastics, keep fit, children’s activities, etc), gym with associated studios, changing facilities and car parking. It has not yet been agreed if the proposed new leisure centre will be built on the existing site in Market Harborough or at another location in the town; however the council has confirmed that, either way, it would be able to continue to operate the existing leisure centre in Market Harborough whilst any new facility is being built. The council’s physical activity strategy will be provided through its two leisure centres but also in partnership with other sports facilities and clubs in the district. The council will also actively seek developer contributions [section 106 funding], where possible, to bolster sport, leisure and open space facilities, and work with communities to explore and develop new or enhanced community facilities. The Executive’s recommendations will be considered by Full Council on 18 September 2017.
Executive councillors will recommend to Full Council that the Local Plan proposed submission is ready for publication. It will be considered by Full Council later this month before further public representation is invited. The proposed Local Plan sets out how the Harborough district will develop until 2031. It will be presented to the Secretary of State for examination next year following an opportunity for further public feedback.
A decision on whether the proposed Great Glen neighbourhood plan should proceed to the referendum stage was deferred by councillors. The deferral, which had been requested by local MP Neil O’Brien, will allow time for further consultation with Great Glen Parish Council.
The go-ahead was given to improvements to the café and lobby at the Harborough Innovation Centre near Market Harborough. The district-wide business hub, owned by the council and managed by Oxford Innovation, has been operating a café since January 2014 which has become a key component of the centre for occupiers and conference facility users. The redesign will enhance the centre’s conference facilities, increase income, and benefit customers of the business park being developed adjacent to the centre.
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