10:30AM, Thursday 19 July 2018
A project to build a new leisure centre in Braywick Park has been criticised after it was revealed an extra £2million could be needed to clear asbestos.
The Advertiser understands the Braywick Leisure Centre requires additional capital investment of up to £2.2million after asbestos was found on the site, which was formerly used for landfill.
The council has already approved a £32million spend on the new centre, which will replace the Magnet Leisure Centre.
The matter has been added as an ‘urgent item’ to today’s (Thurs-day) full council meeting agenda.
Cllr Simon Werner (Lib Dem, Pinkney’s Green) said: “It’s just amateur hour at the council, that’s what happens when you build on a dump. I remember going there to dump things at the tip there with my dad. There’s going to be all kinds of toxic rubbish at that site.
“This will be the first of many. They will keep coming back time and time again for more money.”
The Advertiser understands the work needs to be approved immediately to prevent a delay in the project.
The project had already been pushed back to a March 2020 completion date after Anglo-Saxon remains were found at the site.
Cllr Werner agreed that a new leisure centre was needed, but said the location should be reconsidered.
He said: “The people want a new leisure centre, but they want it in the town centre.
“Our leisure centre needs to be part of the community hub that our town centre needs to be – not moved to the outskirts of the town.”
Cllr Werner suggested building the centre on the site of Tenpin Maidenhead, which is set to be demolished in the St Cloud Way redevelopment.
A council spokeswoman told the Advertiser: “Despite the completion of extensive pre-works, asbestos has been found on the Braywick site which needs to be safely removed before work can commence.
“Removal of asbestos requires a fully trained and certified contractor to perform the works; this alongside the unexpected, additional need for archaeology services has resulted in a request to council for additional budget to enable us to deliver a new leisure centre for our residents.”
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