Sports centre vision on old brewery site

PLANS have been unveiled for a swimming pool, sports and leisure centre beside the former Webster's brewery, at Ovenden Wood, Halifax.

It will be used during the day by children at the adjoining Maltings Independent School, which is due to open in September, and by other schools in north Halifax.

At the weekend and evenings, it will be available to residents in the new Fountain Head village homes and neighbouring communities like Wheatley, Ovenden, Pellon, Highroad Well and Mount Tabor.

"The size of the pool has been based on sports council designs for community swimming pools," according to Fountain Head Developments, which is seeking planning approval. They also want to convert the brewery's former hospitality suite, Long Can Hall, into a pub and restaurant, with a function room, 14 bedrooms and a shop.

The Maltings has been virtually empty since the brewery closed in 1996 when it was taken over by Scottish and Newcastle.

Last autumn, a nursery opened on the ground floor for 80 youngsters and director Michelle Cook is converting the upper floors into a school for about 300 children, up to the age of 11.

The sports centre and pool will incorporate a fitness suite and be built into the sloping site so that it largely appears single storey.

The site is in green belt land and architects plan to cover the roof with wild grass.

Also planned is a games area, two tennis courts, a playground, exercise area, kickabout area and car park.

"There is a shortage of sporting facilities in north Halifax and the number of sporting activities proposed by this application is extensive, and likely to appeal to a wide range of people," according to the developers.

Calderdale Council planners will decide on the application by the beginning of July.