Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Planning application submitted for £26m South Holland Health & Wellbeing Hub

The creation of a new £26 million South Holland Health & Wellbeing Hub has moved a step closer, with the submission of a planning application for the first phase of the project.

The application for the transformational South Holland District Council scheme has been validated and will now be assessed by planning officers alongside consultation with neighbours and relevant bodies, with a decision expected in September.

There is an intention for construction to get underway in Winter 2024, with the main Hub building opening to the public in Summer 2026.

A further outline application for the second phase of work on the Levelling Up project, including an extra care housing scheme, is set to be submitted in the coming weeks.

In 2023 the Council was successful in a bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, receiving £20 million of investment for the existing Castle Sports Centre site in Spalding, to address health and wellbeing through the provision of improved sport, recreation and leisure facilities, alongside new health and wellbeing services and facilities for residents.

The first phase of the application includes plans for the main Hub building, including the creation of a new two-pool swimming facility, outdoor splash pad, sports hall, gym, fitness studios, wellbeing spaces, café and play zones.

New outdoor facilities installed on the site would include a 3G artificial turf floodlit football pitch as well as a separate outdoor multi-use games area, community gardens and park run track.

The extra care housing scheme, on the current swimming pool site, would contain specialist accommodation made up of self-contained homes combined with communal areas designed to help people continue to live independently for longer.

Submission follows a public consultation on the proposals in March, with 5,000 residents visiting the project’s dedicated website, over 250 attendees to in-person exhibition and drop-in events, and another 250 taking the time to share their thoughts on the plans via the online form or via email.

The feedback given has helped the project team to refine the designs, with changes from the previous proposals including additional, accessible toilet provision on the first floor, amendments to site security out of hours, changes to the spectator seating layout at the swimming pool and the inclusion of a raised end in the pool for competition starts.

Unfortunately, within the budget available for the project, not all suggestions could be added to the plans. Due to the extremely high installation, operation and maintenance costs the project is not expected to be able to incorporate sauna or steam room facilities, instead prioritising a wider range of sport, wellbeing and physical activity opportunities.

Purpose-built balcony or tiered spectator seating for the swimming pool is also not possible within the current plans, but approximately 250 permanent and temporary seats will be available around the main pool for competitions, whilst still ensuring that the facilities cater for the wider community and daily users.

Councillor Gary Taylor, the Council’s project sponsor, said: “I am really pleased that we are able to take another significant step towards making this incredible project a reality, and creating brand new facilities that will cater for our whole community for many years to come.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to be part of the consultation process or who has helped to shape the designs so far. Feedback from those who will visit, enjoy and live near the site is invaluable in making sure we can create a truly transformative and well-used Hub for South Holland’s residents.”

The submitted plans can be viewed and commented on by visiting www.sholland.gov.uk/FindandComment and searching the planning reference number H16-0462-24.

More information on the project is available at southhollandlevellingup.co.uk, and any questions or feedback can be sent to levellingup@sholland.gov.uk.

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