PLANS to build a new sports hall in Bromsgrove were rejected on Wednesday, May 30, after members of the District Council’s Cabinet unanimously decided it would be too expensive.
The long-running saga came to an abrupt end – putting a stop to any hopes of a sports hall being built on the Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure Centre.
It has been a rollercoaster journey for campaigners but until the decision was made final, hopes had been high that it might go ahead.
Coun Peter Whittaker, whose portfolio covers leisure, said in January that full options for the sports hall were being drawn up by officers and there was a chance it could still be approved.
It was the boost ‘Save Our Sports Hall’ campaigners needed after a disappointing end to 2017 which saw a deal between BAM – the company which provides North Bromsgrove High’s sports hall- and Bromsgrove District Council fall apart.
North Bromsgrove needed the sports hall available for several weeks per year due to exams.
Councillors decided this would leave insufficient time for residents to use the facilities.
At the Cabinet meeting Coun Brian Cooper, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling, spoke candidly about the lack of funding for a project this size.
He made it clear a new sports hall would cost at least £3million to build and would only generate £70,000 per annum in revenue.
He said: “With the current financial climate, and Bromsgrove residents at our best interest, it saddens me to say that Bromsgrove District Council cannot afford this proposed development.
“Business rates are rising and new homes need to be built, it would make no sense to build such an expensive sports hall.”
Coun Geoff Denaro, Leader of Bromsgrove District Council, said: “When I saw the figures come back from the officers I was shocked at how much it would cost.
“We can not afford this and it would not be fair to the residents of Bromsgrove for us to proceed.”