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MELKSHAM Community Campus moved a giant step closer after planning permission was formally approved last week. It means building work can start later this year on the multi million pound town centre development.
The ambitious proposals for the 14.7 acre Melksham House site just off Melksham Market Place include a new leisure centre, a 25m swimming pool and learner pool, a 4-court sports hall, a 60-station fitness suite, squash courts, cafe, health care facilities and a new library and youth centre.
Planning permission was granted at a strategic planning committee meeting of Wiltshire Council on Wednesday 14th May. It will now undergo a tendering process with work expected to begin before the end of this year.
As part of the new development both Melksham Football and Rugby Clubs will be relocated to Woolmore Farm, a site to the east of Melksham next to the Oak School.
Roy While, chairman of the Community Operation Board (COB) said, “It is a real milestone in the project and we can now look forward and move on to the tendering phase with the intention of construction work starting at Melksham House later this year.
“Then at some point next year we hope to move on to the main body of the building work which will see the football and rugby club move to their new home. The site at Woolmore Farm is subject to planning permission still, but this is to be discussed at the next meeting so all being well, we will also see some developments on that front soon. We anticipate the whole project will be finished by the back end of 2016.
“The Melksham Community Campus will bring a wide range of facilities to the town and that goes beyond sport and leisure as it will provide an excellent place for people to sit and enjoy the surroundings. The fact so many services, facilities and sports clubs will benefit from the development which will bring many more people to the town centre can only benefit Melksham as a whole. This will transform the town in a positive way and serve the community for many years to come.”
Melksham’s newly appointed mayor, cllr Terri Welch was also pleased that the campus is a step closer. She said, “It is fantastic news and means things are now full steam ahead to get the construction work started. It will be a fantastic facility for Melksham.”
Wiltshire Council cabinet member with responsibility for campuses, Jonathon Seed added, “This is an important moment for the Melksham community area with the campus project being the biggest single investment in Melksham for a generation. As both a Melksham area councillor and the cabinet member I am delighted we are at this stage.
“The Community Operations Board and campus team have worked extremely hard to get us to this point and I’d like to thank them. The hard work will now continue and I look forward to our team delivering a truly fantastic facility to benefit the entire community.”
Conditions of the planning approval include ensuring there is no loss of swimming and football facilities during construction of the campus and that a car park management plan is in place.
Wiltshire Council will try to ensure there is as little disruption to people and services as possible while work is carried out.
To view the plans and all associated documents visit Wiltshire Council’s website using the following planning reference number: 14/00726.