Sinkhole clearance required before work can start on new Ripon pool
The overhaul of Ripon Leisure Centre, including the construction of a new six-lane pool, is set to be given the green light to proceed this month - providing new reports into ground stability clear the site for development.
An application from Harrogate Borough Council for the swimming pool extension and refurbishment works is set to front the planning committee on June 25.
However, before any work can proceed at the site, a ground stability report declaring the site safe for development will be required.
The leisure centre, like much of wider Ripon, sits on known gypsum deposits.
Ripon's sinkholes: Harrogate Borough Council's full response to latest concernsIn February 2018 a sinkhole opened directly next to the centre, with the borough council subsequently filling the cavern with gravel due to the potential development of a new pool on the site in the future.
Harrogate council officers have recommended the application be approved and deferred, subject to the submission of a satisfactory ground stability report.
The new pool, to be built next to the existing leisure centre site, had been at the centre of a furious to-and-fro between community groups and Harrogate Borough Council for much of 2018.
Anger at Ripon swimming pool decision The most notable of these community groups, Ripon Pool Action Group, originally rejected the proposed six-lane pool on the basis that it didn’t have a learner pool attached.
The group eventually accepted the six-lane proposal following concerns that the whole project may be scrapped due to continued objections over its design.
The six-lane plan was finally confirmed at a council meeting in July last year.
Work to be carried out at Ripon leisure centre: Everything you need to knowThe submittede plans also include a main entrance and lobby, a changing village, a health suite, reception and office, a first aid room and water closet facilities, including a disabled toilet.
The application also includes upgrades to the centre's existing facilities, with new changing facilities, two new dance studios, a dedicated Spin studio and a new meeting room among the work proposed.
Externally, a new car park is to be created which will include sheltered cycle parking on the existing playing field adjacent to the centre.
The existing car park is also set to be enlarged.
Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter