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Artist impressions of Braywick Leisure Centre released

Grace Witherden

Grace Witherden

An indoor ‘winter garden’, a 10-lane swimming pool and a hall to seat 650 people are just some of the features set to be included in the new Braywick Leisure Centre.

The Royal Borough has released new images to give residents a first glimpse of the new £32.8m facility, which will replace the existing Magnet Leisure Centre at the end of 2019.

The ‘tree-led’ design will include 500 parking spaces, a 200-station gym, two dance studios, four squash courts, six netball courts and a larger training pool.

The plans have been designed around the four significant trees on the site.

A report will come to full council on Tuesday, September 26, asking it to approve a budget of almost £30.9m, in addition to the existing £2m which was allocated in the budget this year.

If approved the council hopes to submit a planning application before the end of the year and very special circumstances will have to be demonstrated as the current designation of Braywick Park is greenbelt.

The designs follow a consultation which ran last year asking residents what they wanted to see; 140 people responded.

Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton Wick), cabinet member for culture and communities said: “This is a great opportunity for the redevelopment of the Magnet site and for us to create a purpose-built centre in Braywick to serve Maidenhead and Windsor.

“The centre will need to be cost effective and sensitively designed and I am thrilled with what Burke Rickhards, the architects, have put forward, especially their use of the parkland setting as a theme for the whole building.”

Kevin Mist, lead officer for community projects, said the new centre has been more ‘economically designed’, with fewer corridors, and takes the total square metres up to 9,300, compared to 7,400 at the Magnet.

He also said he expects there to be a ‘seamless transition’ between the two centres, with the council promising to keep the Magnet open until the new centre is ready.

The site of the Magnet in St Cloud Way has been earmarked for development in the Borough Local Plan, and could see 640 housing units built there.

When asked what transport links will be provided for the new leisure centre, Mr Mist said the site is served by three bus routes and the council was in discussions with the bus company to move an existing bus stop.

A cycle route would be encouraged via the Green Way.

He added: “It’s not that we’re trying to build something new and different because the old Magnet is a massive successful place; 800,000 people go in there every year.

“We are building on a success, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel.”

W The report will be discussed at the Royal Borough’s joint corporate services and culture and communities overview and scrutiny panel on Thursday, August 31 at 6pm in Maidenhead Town Hall.

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