Update - 21 March 2023
Ellis Park Community Hub
Following a period of marketing, the site of the former Oadby Swimming Pool is now under offer. In the coming months, the Council will be consulting local residents and the Oadby Bowling Club on how the proceeds of the sale will be invested in Ellis Park to create a brand new Community Hub in order to maximise the benefits to the local community.
Original news article - issued in January 2023.
Derelict site sale to unlock major community facility improvement plans in Oadby
A derelict former swimming pool in Oadby is to be sold, regenerating a prominent key site and bringing in funds ringfenced to improve community facilities in the town.
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council is planning a major refurbishment of the bowls pavilion next to the site which would make it the primary multi-use community facility in the town, as well as potentially using funds raised from the pool sale to improve Ellis Park as well.
Oadby pool became redundant in 2014 when the brand new replacement at Parklands Leisure Centre opened in Washbrook Lane.
The borough’s Local Plan already allocates most of the land, which includes the former pool and car parking at the front, as a prime opportunity for residential development, and this is the area that is now on the market for sale along with the tennis courts to the rear. All types of development offers though are being welcomed with any future use subject to gaining the relevant consents.
The adjacent land on which Ellis Park, the bowling green and the pavilion stand are not included in the sale, with these areas set for potential improvement using the money raised from the sale of the neighbouring land.
After a sale is agreed, the borough council will consult with local residents and groups to establish how a revamped community facility on the site of the current pavilion might look and what it could be used for. Regardless of how any revamped community facility shapes up, it will also remain available for use by the bowls club currently based there as well as other community groups. Improvements to Ellis Park itself will also form part of future consultation.
In the long term the council also expects to dispose of the Walter Charles Centre, the aging community building currently to the south of the town centre, which will be replaced by the larger, modern pavilion revamped as part of this project. This would only happen once the new community facility is nearing completion .
Councillor John Boyce, Leader of Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, said: “Regeneration is key to maintaining a thriving local community and economy, and this land sale presents a huge opportunity for Oadby.
“It’s time for a developer to unlock the site’s potential. The money raised is ringfenced for community benefit – all of the proceeds will go towards creating a far superior community facility for the town as well as possible improvements to Ellis Park.
“We’re looking forward to talking to local residents, community groups and other key stakeholders to ensure the way the money is spent maximises the community offer in the town. Local voices are absolutely key to this project and people in Oadby can expect to hear much more about this in the coming months.”
To be the first to hear about upcoming consultation on the project, residents are encouraged to subscribe for council email updates at www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/subscribe
When will consultation on the community improvements start?
Phase one of the consultation will begin imminently with the council speaking to community groups, primary stakeholders and other key community facility users to shape up some initial plans for the new facility and Ellis Park.
Phase two will then see this further expanded to hear the voices of the wider Oadby community – this is likely to be in spring/early summer.
Is the council going to consult on whether the Oadby Pool site should be sold at all?
No - the decision to sell the land has been agreed and voted on by councillors. The pool has been derelict for sometime but carries significant value both financially and as a prime location for redevelopment.
It is considered to be too good an opportunity to miss and the long term community benefits are significant.
Where can I find the marketing/sales information for the site?
The site is being marketed by Innes England and you can find all the information on their website.
Can I be shown the exact boundary of land going on the market?
This aerial view shows the boundary on the land for sale.
How will the bowls club be impacted?
We’ve been speaking with the bowls club to make them aware of the plans and ensure they are engaged with the project. The bowls green will remain as it is and the club will continue to be able to use the revamped facility as its pavilion. The new facility will simply be used more widely by other community groups and organisations in addition to the bowls club.
There will be a period while the pavilion is redeveloped where the building will be unavailable to use by the bowls club or any other organisation.
Are there alternative tennis courts available in the area?
There are suitable alternative tennis courts accessible in the Borough, namely at Peace Memorial Park in Wigston. There are also club facilities at Wigston Tennis Club, Oadby and Granville Tennis Club, Beauchamp College, Oadby, and Roger Bettles Sports Centre (UoL), Oadby.
There are further facilities available close to the Borough boundary in neighbouring Local Authority areas at Knighton Park and Evington Park.
The courts currently at Ellis Park aren’t regularly used, and the council receives very few enquiries from prospective users.
How much money will be raised from the sale?
This is subject to market forces and depends on the offers the council receives. The council intends to be fully transparent on the amount of money gained from the sale, once a deal has been agreed. 100% of this money is to be ringfenced for the community improvement projects mentioned above.
Will the council not lose money due to the loss of income from the car park?
The council does gain a small income from this car park and this will be lost. However, Ellis Park car park is one of the most underused car parks in the borough and the revenue from it barely exceeds its maintenance costs. Therefore, the council does not consider the loss of income to be a major barrier to the sale of the site.
Does the loss of a car park not negatively impact the town centre?
Ellis Park car park is currently underused with large amounts of empty spaces at almost all times. Oadby also benefits from the far more well-used car parks in Sandhurst Street and East Street. The borough council will discuss with potential new owners of the site about the possibility of retaining some car parking.
Last updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2023 9:45 am