Mixed-sex changing to stay in final Newbold Comyn plans

Architest drawings for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre.
Architest drawings for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre.

A major overhaul for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre is set to gain the final round of approval after proposals were sent off to planners this month.

The leisure centre expansion, which includes a double-sized gym, climbing wall and spinning studios, could be granted final planning permission within the next month.

Architest drawings for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre.

Architest drawings for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre.

The latest plans come with some significant changes following concerns from users – such as additional single gender changing facilities as an alternative to the main mixed sex areas initially proposed.

The updated plans could also bring changing space at the upgraded gym and a poolside toilet. The £5m development will also see the council-owned centre extended by almost 70 per cent.

But mixed-sex changing rooms remain in the plans, despite being described as the most contentious issue during a public consultation.

A statement from planning officers said: “By a substantial margin, the greatest number of negative comments received were against the provision of mixed gender changing areas.”

Architest drawings for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre.

Architest drawings for Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre.

It is hoped that increasing the number of private showers in the wet changing rooms could address these concerns, and a toilet will now be retained next to the leisure pool following upset.

Planning permission must now be granted so the building can be extended into the car park to allow for a ‘clip and climb’ climbing wall for children and 100-station gym.

The leisure centre would also be extended to the side to create two fitness studios and a spinning studio for cycle classes.

A total of 1,254 people attended consultation sessions when the plans were unveiled in January, with 23 written responses of objection made.

The major expansion will mean loss of an 18-space car park, and parking will instead move to land on the other side of a public pathway.

Approval is expected to be given when the plans are discussed in the coming weeks, ready for work to start this year.