Issue - meetings

Hermitage Leisure Centre Building - Future Direction

Meeting: 20/09/2022 - Cabinet (Item 32)

32 Hermitage Leisure Centre Building - Future Direction pdf icon PDF 556 KB

The report of the Strategic Director.

Presented by the Housing and Customer Services Portfolio Holder.

Additional documents:


Having declared an interest in the item Councillor T Gillard left the meeting for the consideration of the item.


The Property and Customer Services Portfolio Holder advised that although he had received correspondence which pertained to this agenda item and had sat on both Community and Corporate Scrutiny Committees, he would consider the matter with an open mind. He then presented the report to members.


Members were advised that Hermitage Leisure Centre closed in February 2022 following the opening of the New Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre. The former Leisure Centre buildings had been mothballed since closure, but it continued to cost the Council £17,500 per month on essential utilities, security and vacant business rates.


Surveys commissioned show that whilst there was a backlog of maintenance issues throughout the whole building (roof, glazing, structural framework and heating systems) the former pool, health suite and squash courts were in worse condition than the sports hall and that to carry out repairs would cost the authority £2.1m with the resultant asset being worth £1.2m.


Whitwick parish council and Coalville CAN had made a strong plea that NWLDC should continue to make the Hermitage Leisure Centre buildings available to the local community, with the whole building retained although they had indicated that retention of the sports hall alone may meet their aspirations.


The former Leisure centre building was subject to an Asset Of Community Value registration lodged by Whitwick Parish Council and the status would be considered as a Material Consideration whenever a planning application to redevelop was made and determined.




Councillor M Hay addressed the meeting and proposed that part of the building be retained in order to be used by community groups and he reiterated that there had been opposition to proposals of using the site for affordable, social housing. Councillor M Hay felt that instead of demolishing the HLC buildings and developing housing, the retention of the HLC buildings would be an achievable way for community groups to obtain a building.


Councillor R Bayliss responded that he was  obliged to follow officers’ advice in terms of the cost of the exercise and asserted that it would be only a selective section of the community who would not want the site to be used for housing. It was also noted that it was felt there had been insufficient representation from people who would wish to reside in Whitwick but for whom there had been no opportunity to do so due to lack of housing.


The Chair thanked Councillor M Hay for highlighting both the pros and cons of retaining the existing buildings and wished to affirm his own support for groups such as Coalville CAN and what they had been seeking to do, however it was also acknowledged that there  was a need for more affordable social housing.


Councillor A Woodman noted that he had toured the current buildings and reminded the meeting that the new premises had been built because the old site had too many issues. To repair these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32