Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee today approved plans for the £18million Helensburgh Waterfront Development.
Councillors gave the green light to the plans which will see a new leisure centre and swimming pool opened in the town, replacing the existing facility which will be demolished.
It follows a comprehensive pre-planning public consultation process, which saw more than 1300 responses gathered, requiring officers and councillors to have more time to examine and consider all of the views put forward.
The central feature of the project will be a new leisure facility and swimming pool, with associated parking and coach drop-off, as well as public realm works to meet the needs of the local community and attract day visitors to the town.
Another key aspect of the project will be the improvement of the waterfront flood defences. The proposal also safeguards space for a potential future development of retail units, possible play park and skate park facilities, together with improved landscaping at the waterfront.
Councillor Ellen Morton, Chair of the Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee, said: “We are thrilled that the committee voted to grant planning permission for this project and that the people of Helensburgh will finally have the new swimming pool and leisure facility that it so badly needs. There has been a lot of discussion over this project and a lot of strong opinions aired. However, we are confident that today’s decision will deliver a facility that will be of great value to the community. I can’t wait to see work begin at the site.”
Proposals for the new Helensburgh Waterfront were launched with an outline business case in 2008. With the existing pool nearing the end of its design life, the need for a new facility was recognised and the process to create the new facility started. In 2017, Darnton B3 Architects were appointed to develop the design of the leisure facility and swimming pool and the public realm areas, working with engineers from Argyll and Bute Council who designed the carpark and flood defences.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Policy Lead for Strategic Finance and Capital Regeneration Programme, added: “The purpose of this project was to create a vibrant and attractive waterfront for the town and to help further develop Helensburgh as a great place to live, work, invest and visit. As well as providing state-of-the-art leisure facilities for local people, the Waterfront project is expected to encourage additional private sector investment in the waterfront area and town centre. A lot of hard work has gone into this project and we are grateful for that, as well as for the feedback of everyone who took part in our extensive public consultation.”