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Decision day looms for Caerphilly’s new £33m leisure and wellbeing hub

Artist impression of the new Caerphilly Leisure and Wellbeing Hub (Pic: Watson Batty Architects)

PLANNING permission for Caerphilly’s new leisure and wellbeing “hub” is expected to be approved next week.

The £33.6 million project, due to be built on land west of Caerphilly Business Park, will replace the town’s existing sports facilities at Virginia Park.

It will include a swimming pool, sports hall, squash courts, health and fitness suites, adventure play facilities, and a cafe, according to plans submitted by ISG Ltd on behalf of Caerphilly County Borough Council.

The local authority’s planners said the Virginia Park leisure centre is “ageing” with “high maintenance liabilities”, and is “incapable of offering the varied range of services demanded in the 21st century”.

The “modern” replacement on the edge of Caerphilly town is near the railway station – which, separately, is also earmarked for redevelopment – and in a “good location to take advantage of” local transport links.

A car park and bike storage area will also be built for visitors to the new leisure hub, if the plans are approved.

A council report suggests the new, 13-metre tall hub could be clad in timber on the outside.

The redevelopment of the vacant land, which was long ago a railway yard, will mean that some trees are chopped down, and the council has proposed a “compensatory” replanting scheme away from the site.

A path which currently connects the railway station approach to Caerphilly Business Park will be removed and “re-provided” nearby.

The council’s planning committee will meet on Wednesday June 12, where members are expected to approve the leisure hub application, in line with the planning department’s recommendation.

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