Pool bid to benefit from sale of land

“MATCH our commitment to your pool!”That was the blunt message today from Babergh council to its counterpart in Hadleigh as the proposals for a new swimming pool for the town resurfaced.

“MATCH our commitment to your pool!”

That was the blunt message today from Babergh council to its counterpart in Hadleigh as the proposals for a new swimming pool for the town resurfaced.

Babergh has offered to use any money it raises from the sale of land it owns at the Brett Works site between the main street and the river for a supermarket to go towards a new pool for the town.

And it will also throw in money it raises from the sale of East House in Hadleigh.

Now it has challenged the town council to match its commitment. The smaller authority also owns a “ransom strip” at the Brett Works site which would have to be bought by anyone wishing to build a supermarket at the site.

Babergh wants Hadleigh to agree to contribute the money from the sale of that land to the construction of a pool.

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Tesco has been aiming to build a store on the site for many years and is expected to attempt to buy the whole site once the final planning hurdles have been crossed.

Babergh is to conduct a feasibility study into proposals to build a new pool during the second half of this year.

The existing pool was built in 1970 and is coming to the end of its natural life.

Engineers do not think it is possible to rebuild the existing pool and estimate that a new one will cost £3.25 million.

One of the questions that has to be resolved is whether a new pool should be built on the current site or at the town's high school so it can be shared with students.

Tim Mutum, head of leisure and community services for Babergh, said: “We are still quite a long way from making any firm commitments - the feasibility study should give us a lot more information.

“We would like to see the same level of commitment that we have made from the town council.”

Deputy town clerk Sue Clements said the town council had already raised £35,000 to contribute to the new pool.

She added: “We are meeting with political leaders from Babergh later this week and after that we should have more idea on the exact position.”

Weblinks: www.hadleightowncouncil.co.uk; www.babergh-south-suffolk.gov.uk

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