New leisure centre plan is scrapped

breaking news
breaking news

Plans for a new £11.5 million leisure centre in Belper have been ditched.

The development, off Field Lane, was abandoned after Amber Valley Borough Council officers reported that the authority has insufficient cash to fund the project.

Now the plot, which cost the council £1.1million, is being sold off to a third party and has already attracted interest from developers.

At a meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council on Monday night, councillors voted - by a majority of 21 to 18 - to allow the authority’s executive director Julian Townsend to approve any sale, instead of the decision being ratified by the full council in a bid to speed things up.

Tory leader Stuart Bradford said: “There’s been lots of situations where there has been interest in this site. This is a serious interest and we need to move fast. Everything will be done properly and above board. We need to move on because we have had so many false starts to do with plans for the site.”

Labour councillor Paul Jones, in c alling for the decision to be approved by the full council, pointed out that the site was one of only three plots of land in Amber Valley which the council owns that is of any significant value - the other two being in Ripley.

Belper councillor John Nelson said: “This site will be fundamental to the town centre of Belper. Once it’s done - that’s it - I don’t want to rush into anything.”

The 0.8-acre plot, near Ada Bellfield House care home would be be suited to high street names according to a report to the council.