If ‘Your Waverley’s Executive can persuade its 57 members to part with a lorry-load of cash – Cranleigh and the eastern villages could soon enjoy a ‘flagship low carbon leisure extravaganza.’
Where will it be? Slap bang in the middle of the Village Way Car Park. But the Thursday Market is happy to move during the works.
However, some councillors among the Rainbow Coalition and the opposition are already asking if the ambitious project is affordable and whether Cranleigh High Street can cope with the extra traffic. One commentator on the Webcast claimed the following:
The Executive of Waverley, supported by officers, have heralded the latest scheme as a ‘flagship low carbon project’ that will benefit Cranleigh’s existing residents and the vast influx of residents expected to occupy around 5,000 new homes planned in the immediate area.
Cranleigh Executive member Liz Townsend’s excitement at the prospect was only matched by that of Cllr Paul Follows Waverley’s Leader when she announced it last night.
Shortly before the 2019 local election, the Tory administration promised Cranleigh a £12.7m leisure centre. Did the Tories use the promise of a new leisure centre to dupe Cranleigh residents into voting for them?
Beneficiaries will include the residents of the Dunsfold Park Garden Village – which is predicted to host almost 3,000 new homes – and many more on the Surrey/Sussex borders. The developer is already committed to contributing a large chunk of the money – though other developers are contributing zilch! Guildford Borough Council may also collaborate with ‘Your Waverley’ on the ambitious project.
The project is considered – URGENT – as the existing 52-year-old centre, built by public subscription in the 1960s is falling apart at the seams. It would cost £5m over the next few years to keep it limping on.
If the Full Council gives the scheme the go-ahead, the Cranleigh venture would be only the third Passivhaus designed leisure centre in the country to be operating in 2025 could be the envy of every other town in the borough.
The project may also include this controversial site near Village Way in Knowle Lane in Cranleigh! This appears to be part of a new outfit called – The Waverley Health Care Alliance. Villagers are eager to know whether the charity that owns the site bought with public money is part of this ‘Alliance?’
The land once owned by Cranleigh `Parish Council was earmarked 22 years ago for a replacement for Cranleigh Village Hospital. This morphed many years later into a Private Nursing Home and residential flats. Waverley Planners refused an application by Cranleigh Village Health Trusts, and no appeal against its decision has been made in the time frame, which has now ended. CVHT owns the land in Knowle Lane, and the charity raised several million pounds to fund a new hospital.
The Passivhaus concept focuses on passive design, looking at the building orientation, maximising airtightness and fabric efficiency before incorporating the most efficient technologies and renewables to supply heat and electricity.
There are currently only two leisure centres in the UK designed to Passivhaus standards. The first in Exeter was completed in July 2021 and claims to have achieved 70% efficiency in energy and 50% efficiency in water use. The second one, to be built by Spelthorne Borough Council, has just acquired planning permission, and is designed to achieve up to 60% energy efficiency. A Passivhaus design would only take the building so far in terms of minimising carbon emissions. However, It would remove 11% of Waverley’s emissions.
The Executive proposes to spend £250,000 on a project manager.
Part of the Executive Meeting was held privately, which presumably included details on how the project will be funded?
The report to the Executive recommended the facility mix for the new centre by building on the findings of the Indoor Built Facilities Strategy and through supplementary supply and demand analysis, which considered future population growth linked to housing development. Subsequent consultation with Places Leisure and the Council, and SLC’s industry knowledge of the current market, helped to explore the potential concept facility mix as:
- 25m x 6 lane main pool.
- 13m x 7m teaching pool with moveable floor
- Spectator seating – 100 for main pool and 20 for teaching pool
- 110 station gym
- multi-purpose exercise studios
- One indoor cycling studio
- squash courts (with moveable wall partition)
- Soft play area (120 sqm on two levels)
- Consultation / Treatment rooms
- Possible Sauna / Steam
- Café (50 covers)
- Reception and office space.
- Potential space for ‘health provision’ has also been considered. A separate options report working with the Health Alliance will explore this option more fully and report back to Council.
Cranleigh Leisure Centre Report on Pages 93-111.