Published: Friday, 14th February 2020
Planning permission for a modern leisure centre for Swanley was approved on Thursday 13 February 2020.
The new centre is intended to replace the current White Oak centre, which, at more than 50 years old, is coming to the end of its working life.
The new energy efficient centre will offer a first-class experience. It includes a six-lane swimming pool with a movable floor, available to a wide range of clubs, a learner pool, a 100 plus station fitness studio with modern equipment and a multi-purpose sports hall. Flexible, multi-use studios for classes and events alongside new activities, including Tag Active, and a soft play area form part of the plans.
In all, the new centre would cost around £20 million to build and equip and will be constructed in the grounds of the current White Oak Centre, which would remain open during the works.
The planning consent includes outline permission for new homes on the White Oak Leisure Centre site. The Council intends to build the homes after the new leisure centre opens. The proceeds from the homes on this and other sites in Swanley would help to pay towards the new centre together with £900,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy funding secured from homebuilders and developers.
Cabinet Member for People and Places, Cllr Lesley Dyball, says: “Gaining planning permission is a big milestone in the provision of a new leisure centre for Swanley. This is the culmination of years of work. The current White Oak centre has served generations of residents well for many years. But now it’s expensive to run, uses a lot of energy and will cost too much to repair. The new, modern centre would provide activities that reflect current leisure trends. Importantly, it would be economically viable so we can continue to provide facilities in Swanley for generations to come.”
In April, the centre will be considered by the Council's Cabinet and then Council, consisting of all 54 Councillors. If they approve the proposals, building work could start this summer with the new centre opening its doors to the public in late 2021.
For latest news on the Centre, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/whiteoak
Planning permission for the new White Oak Leisure Centre was approved at the Council’s Development Control Committee on 13 February 2020.