Decision is due over £20 million leisure centre

Artists impression of the Five Towns Leisure Centre.
Artists impression of the Five Towns Leisure Centre.

A decision is due to be made today on Pontefract’s £20 million leisure centre, but questions remain over whether the land is already earmarked for a relief road.

A planning meeting at the town hall this morning will discuss and then vote on whether Wakefield Council will press ahead with the centre, which will include swimming pools, a gym, climbing zone, four 3G tennis courts and football pitch and space for 222 cars.

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The facility is a replacement for the two leisure centres that closed in Castleford and Knottingley.

However it was reported in September last year that concern was mounting about the proposed site at Pontefract Park, that it has already been set aside for a Featherstone and Pontefract bypass road and which prevents development in the park.

There have also been issues raised over whether the council, which has submitted the plans, has provided sufficient ‘special circumstances’ to build on existing green belt land.

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Many of the 36 letters of objections raised by residents highlight these issues, along with traffic concerns.

Planning officers are recommending approval of the plans, but have attached 44 conditions that must be followed.