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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/03/2004
A NEW LEISURE CENTRE FOR GODALMING



Summary & Purpose
Waverley has considered a Broadwater Park Masterplan and agreed the most appropriate site for a new leisure centre. There is a formally expressed political commitment to a new leisure centre for Godalming. The purpose of this report is to outline the range of issues which need to be addressed and to reconfirm the commitment to proceed.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A



A new leisure centre would provide a range of activities and services for the benefit of all members of the local community. It will encourage and promote safe and healthy initiatives to encourage active communities. The facilities will be accessible by all sections of the community.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

33,000 has been identified in the capital programmes for 2004/2005 and 33,000 for 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 to assist in funding the necessary preliminary works some of which are set out in Annexe 1 to the report. Legal advice regarding the procurement of a new leisure centre will be sought as part of the process endorsed within the report.

A major investment in a new leisure centre will cost approximately 10m. The Council has established a New Godalming Leisure Centre Fund for 2004/2005. 500,000 has been placed in the fund.

The method of financing the capital expenditure will determine the costs to be met by the General Fund revenue account. Depending on the competitive bid to manage the centre, there could also be additional running costs to be met by the Council.
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Background

1. The Godalming Leisure Needs Study carried out in 1999 identified an unequivocal need for an additional sports hall in Godalming. As part of this study a number of potential sites for a new leisure centre were investigated, with Broadwater Park being identified as the most appropriate.

2. The Parklife study which followed the Godalming Leisure Needs Study resulted in a masterplan for Broadwater Park. The study identified a range of issues in relation to the park and amongst other needs, recommended a preferred location for a replacement leisure centre on the site of the existing Rugby Football Club and with direct access off the A3100. This preferred location was endorsed by the Executive at its meeting in April 2003 as set out below:-

“1. any future leisure centre for Godalming incorporates the facility mix as set out in the PMP study;

2. any future leisure centre for Godalming should be located on the Rugby Club site in Broadwater Park;

3. financial support in principle be given to partnership funding for the refurbishment of Broadwater School sports hall to provide community provision through the New Opportunities Fund PE and Sport in School scheme;

4. officers continue to investigate the benefits and costs to the Council of procuring a new Godalming Leisure Centre by means of Public Private Partnership, which could include consideration of Waverley’s other leisure facilities and financial resources as part of an overall package and report back the findings at a future date; and

5. all interested parties should formally be informed of the situation.”

3. In 2002 a report by Peter Mann Partnership (PMP) investigated the feasibility of Godalming’s Leisure Centre and this identified the optimum level of provision for a replacement leisure centre in Godalming, having regard to the level of provision in the surrounding areas.

4. The final study, also conducted by PMP, raised a range of financial options for possible funding of a new leisure centre.

Existing Leisure Centre

5. The existing leisure centre is owned and managed by the John Stanley Jeffries (JSJ) Trust. The centre is on land leased to the Trust by the Council.

Recent Investment

6. In order to ensure that the existing leisure centre continued to attract a reasonable customer base and to make an adequate income stream, Waverley agreed to invest a capital sum of 100,000 in 2001 to provide a mezzanine layer across two squash courts and upgrade the facilities for health and fitness, dance and aerobics.

Current Condition and Projected Life

7. Notwithstanding the above investment, officers conclude that the nature of the fabric of the existing building, the age and condition of the mechanics and plant, suggest that the current projected life is short, probably under all circumstances, no longer than a further 5 years and that the risk of failure to a major component or structure within this time is high.

Shortfall in Facilities Provision

8. It is clear from both the PMP studies and your officers’ views that the facilities in the current centre fall short of requirements to meet local need. On a macro level, there is no sports hall or learner pool. On a micro level, the condition of changing rooms, poolside, catering, reception and administrative facilities, are all inadequate. These inadequacies are magnified by peoples’ expectations regarding the quality and range of leisure facilities they expect to see provided. Over recent years the Council has funded a significant amount in both re-provision and refurbishment within Haslemere, Cranleigh and Farnham.

Process of Procurement

9. In order for the Council to procure a new leisure centre for Godalming, a procurement process must be mapped out. Attached at Annexe 1 is a draft proposal which sets out for Members the key stages and milestones associated with the process and approximate timescales.

10. To aid the process it will be necessary to consult with Members on a regular basis on a number of specific issues some of which are set out in Annexe 1. To enable this communication to take place, Officers recommend that the Godalming Leisure Needs Special Interest Group (SIG) be reconvened to oversee the progress of the procurement process.

11. The draft procurement process includes the following elements:

1. Agree design brief for facilities – ensure all the required facility requirements are set out in detail including the requirements of the Rugby Club.
2. Undertake a detailed assessment of the overall site to confirm the site can accommodate all the required facilities, including car parking.
3. Confirm commitment to the scheme by the Rugby Club.
4. Seek legal advice on procurement options available to the Council.
5. Meet with Guildford Borough Council to consider proposals for land acquisition or lease. In order to accommodate a new leisure centre and the associated car parking on the rugby club site, it will be necessary to utilise land adjacent to the site which is currently leased to the Rugby Club by Guildford Borough Council. The Council would require confirmation of Guildford’s agreement to negotiate a land deal for the site.
6. Meet with Highways Authority to assess transport issues.
7. Undertake land survey to identify any issues relating to contamination.
8. Consult with the JSJ Trust re future role of the Trust.
9. Formulate output service specification for new leisure centre. It will be necessary for the Council to consider in detail its requirements for the type of service specification it would like to see delivered in a new centre. The SIG could consider this aspect of the procurement in detail as part of its work programme.
10. Undertake an options appraisal on the procurement routes available to the Council. As part of the previous research, PMP set out the approximate cost implications and various procurement options available to the Council. In order to proceed with the scheme it will be necessary for the Council to set out a plan of how it intends to fund and procure the facility. The SIG should be charged with considering the funding strategy and procurement options.

Stakeholders

12. In order to enable a proposal to construct a new leisure centre in Godalming to proceed, a range of stakeholders continue to need to be committed to this proposal. They are:-

A range of internal Council disciplines need to be satisfied to enable this proposal to emerge, including planning and development, legal, corporate, financial, as well as leisure and environmental considerations.
Elected Members – any proposal that emerges will need to be acceptable both to Members of Waverley, the relevant County Council Members and, indeed, Members of Godalming Town Council, who would be significant partners to the scheme.
Guildford Rugby Football Club have some 22 years remaining on their existing lease of the land identified as the most appropriate site for this new leisure centre and under these circumstances they would need to be satisfied both that the replacement facilities catered for their needs and that their best interests were served by participating in the proposal. The current facilities of the club are aged and outdated and fail to meet all the club’s current needs.
Guildford Borough Council is the owner of land adjacent to the proposed site which is already used by Guildford Rugby Football Club (see attached plan of site at Annexe 2) and would make up half of the proposed site. As a relevant land owner to enable this proposal to come to pass, its approval to the scheme proposed would be essential.
The Friends of Broadwater Park have been in existence for some years now and the Council regularly meets to consult with them on various issues relating to the management of the park. Waverley is aware that Broadwater has a multiplicity of users and this one umbrella organisation is a very useful vehicle for consultation and it is appropriate that any views of the Friends of Broadwater are given consideration in relation to any proposal that emerges.
JSJ Trust – The future of the Trust and the role it would play in the management of any new leisure centre needs to be considered. Early discussions with the JSJ would therefore be necessary.
Sport Godalming represents the sporting organisations within Godalming and acts as a valuable consultee to ensure the needs of the sports clubs within the area of Godalming are met.
Broadwater School is a key partner and the Council has worked in partnership on a range of leisure developments at the school. It is essential that any new facilities complement those already existing on the school site to provide synergy. Conclusions

13. In order to progress the Council’s priority to build a new leisure centre for Godalming, the draft process presented in this report must be agreed and taken forward. The process is complex and will involve many stakeholders over a period of time. This report sets out the key steps which at this stage need to be considered and progressed if the Council is to achieve its priority.


Recommendation

It is recommended that:-
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Background Papers ( DoE&L)

Godalming Leisure Needs Study
Parklife Broadwater Masterplan
PMP Godalming Leisure Centre Feasibility Study
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Maudsley Telephone: 01483 523398

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523732

COMMS/EXECUTIVE/2003-04/495
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