The estimated build of a new Leisure centre in 2019 was £10m – then £20m in 2022. Two weeks ago, it was £30m, and last week, the figure quoted by a Waverley officer was £31m.
To be more precise. £31,137,252
Now, a question mark among some councillors hangs over the viability and desirability of providing a state-of-the-art, low-carbon Passivhaus building – one of the first in the country.
Q Will spiralling costs put paid to a long-held dream to replace the old and tired leisure centre?
At a meeting of the Executive tonight, Tuesday, Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend, the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development, will recommend the following to the Council:
That a revised capital budget of £31,137,252, as shown in the financial viability assessment at Exempt Annexe 1, be allocated to deliver a new build Cranleigh Leisure Centre; II.
The leisure centre is built to Passivhaus certification standards, and the Joint Director for Transformation and Governance will be given authority to appoint all professional services, including, but not limited to, the Employers Agent, Design team and build contractor, and to complete and execute all required contractual documentation. Most details will be provided when the press and public are excluded.
Council officer Kelvin Mills explained that the Council had been working with the architects GT3 and quantity surveyors and that a full report would go to the Executive and Council shortly.
Cllr George Hesse said:
“I know how much the people of Cranleigh really want and need a new sports and leisure centre, but I understand that the cost estimate what was to have cost £10m then £20m is now costing around the £30m mark.
With material costs generally going up, at what point do we decide that enough is enough that it has exceeded the point it can be afforded? At exactly what point can we pull back from it? We all know that projects have a tendency to overspend with cost inflation. We are talking about many millions of pounds here. Will there be a pont where we should pull back and completely re-assess. Money is not unlimited.”
Officer Kelvin Mills said:
Chairman Cllr Carole Cockburn said the Council would need “a heck of a lot more information about the project.” before making a decision.
She said: “It would be lovely to have a state-of-the-art facility in Cranleigh, but we have to be aware of how much money we have. We are talking about eye-watering sums of money here.”
Cllr Hesse asked if and when the build went out to tender, would it be for a “fixed price contract?”
A Passivhaus-certified design for Cranleigh will guarantee the building’s energy and operational carbon performance. There is no other standard with proven evidence that can guarantee this.
The initial Passivhaus design parameters included at this stage for Cranleigh are:
- Siting the building to maximise solar gain
- Solar orientation with the hot pool zones facing directly south and cool zone facing north
- Thermal zoning
- Optimising MEP plant strategies to reduce pipe and duct runs
- Reviewing structural strategies to limit thermal bridging