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Sports Hall Development

Proposed design of new Sports Hall

Manor Road Sports Hall Development

A planning application has been submitted to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council.

19 May 2010

The University has submitted a planning application to Oadby & Wigston Borough Council for an extension to the Manor Road Sports Hall. The development will add a small pool, sauna, steam and spa pool along with a large gym and changing rooms to the existing sports hall. The existing worn out old pavilion on site would be demolished to allow the development.

The submission brings to an end the extensive public consultation period about the proposed new development. The consultation attracted 153 responses from students, staff and members of the public. The majority of responses (145) supported the project with 6 reserving judgement until final plans were submitted. Two people wished for a 50m pool and a very large sports hall to be built instead.

Consultation feedback has driven the final design of the building. Of the two options consulted upon the majority of respondents preferred Option 2. It was this option that was further developed to submission stage. Residents were concerned that the building matched those in the surrounding area so exterior finishes have been specified to match those of nearby buildings, whilst the building itself features architectural elements that mirror that of other nearby buildings (projecting windows, corner bay windows, vertical stair elements, for example).

The building has been designed with sustainability and environmental performance in mind. Many features have been included in the building to achieve this; a living green roof, north facing windows to allow natural light to flood the first floor, harvesting rainwater to flush toilets, solar thermal and photovoltaic panels will feature on the south facing roof.

Comments from the feedback questionnaires included:-

"Swimming pool desperately needed." "Much needed facilities. Would be satisfied by this exciting development." "Hope it turns out as good as it looks in the pictures." "Just what we need." "The plan looks good and should be given the go ahead." "Manor Road is a fantastic site and the proposed facilities will enhance the area." "Excellent facility for all who can use it."

Director of Sport, Colin Hide, says of the proposed facilities; "We have listened to students and local residents and produced a small building that adds a pool and large gym to complement the existing facilities on site and to produce a winning mix of top class sports facilities that will be available to students, staff and members of the public alike.

As one of the UK top 20 universities we attract top quality students who increasingly seek top quality facilities for their leisure time. This exciting new development will significantly improve the student experience at the University."

Regular user and local GP Nigel Dadge comments "The Manor Road University gym has offered me an adequate gym facility in an increasingly tired building for over a decade. Excellent advice from its staff regarding physical exercise has enhanced the value of this rather tired sporting venue.

The planned upgrade of this facility and the provision of a swimming pool will greatly increase the local population’s access to a modern ‘gym and pool’ facility with the potential of a significant improvement in both their physical and mental wellbeing."

Full details of the proposed development are available on a dedicated web site.

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