South Ayrshire leisure facility plans submitted

Girvan and South Carrick leisure centreWork on the first new leisure facility to be built by South Ayrshire Council in almost two decades could get underway soon, following the submission of the planning application for the new leisure and community facility at Girvan Harbour.

Less than two weeks after all the capital funding was confirmed for the £5 million project – which is being developed by the council in conjunction with South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) – the submission of the planning application marks another key milestone for people and communities across Girvan and South Carrick.

Morrison Construction was awarded the contract late last year and has appointed architects Archial Norr to the project.

The new building will transform leisure and community facilities across the area, with a 25 metre swimming pool, soft play area, superb fitness gym, flexible multi-purpose studio/community space, changing facilities and café. The planning application highlights the unique and scenic position of the new facility at the harbour, with stunning views over the Firth of Clyde towards Ailsa Craig.

To ensure the design reflects the coastal setting of the facility, timber cladding will be the main material for the outside of the building, providing a durable exterior that will weather naturally over time. Extensive use of glazing will also ensure the building makes the best possible use of natural light.

Inside, the building will be divided by an internal ‘street’ which houses the café and reception areas and links the front and back of the building. Staff facilities, public toilets and the main stair and lift will be located behind the reception area on the ground floor and the layout ensures parents/carers can supervise children in the soft play from the comfort of the café seating.

Changing facilities will be provided on both floors of the building – the pool changing village on the ground floor, and the gym/studio changing rooms on the first floor. The gym will be kitted out with state-of-the art fitness equipment, while the two studios can convert into one large space by opening the folding partition wall.

The building will be fully accessible, with a changing places room in the changing village on the ground floor; a ‘pool pod’(modern swimming pool lift used at the likes of the Olympics and Commonwealth Games) for easy, direct access to the pool for disabled/elderly swimmers; and disabled car parking included.

Determination of the planning application is expected by the end of September – subject to feedback received during the statutory planning process – with any objections likely to extend the timescales for the consideration of the planning application.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This is another terrific development for the Girvan and South Carrick project and shows just how everything is now coming together thanks to the significant amount of groundwork that has been put in place by both the Council and SCCL.

“Planning permission is the next major step in moving us closer to getting work started and I would hope the extensive pre-application discussions that have taken place with planning colleagues will mean we can get a decision sooner rather than later. Although, that will very much depend on the feedback from consultees and the community as part of the planning process.

“I can’t wait to see work getting started and a whole new approach to leisure and community life in Girvan and South Carrick taking shape down at the harbour – it really will be life-changing.”

Andrew Sinclair, chair of SCCL, added: “We’re now in a truly fortunate position, with a detailed planning application submitted for a great facility that we have the money to get up and running. We have never been in this position before and it shows just how far we’ve come over recent months.

“You can really start to sense the excitement in the air and the belief in and around the town and villages that we will have a new pool, gym, soft play and studio space by March 2017. That excitement will only increase as we get planning permission and people start to see something real and tangible happening at the project site.

“It won’t be long until we get to that point and, in the meantime, we should celebrate the progress we’ve made so far while keeping an eye very much on what has still to come. It will be fantastic.”

The planning application for the new Girvan and South Carrick leisure and community facility is available to view here.

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