The centre contains two pools. The fitness pool is due to reopen after upgrade work costing £300,000, but the fate of the leisure pool is unknown.
Lewisham Council state it will cost £700,000 to repair, and the centre has seen losses each year of £400,000.
While leisure centres are struggling nationwide, this leisure centre has the advantage of being located in the midst of a huge number of new homes either being built or due to commence soon with resulting income to Lewisham Council, let alone additional demand for the pool.
New homes bring income from four sources: Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy from developers, New Home Bonus funds from central government and income tax from residents.
The range of developments within a mile imcludes:
- 209 homes are being built a matter of metres away on the former Tidemill school site. It was approved in 2017 and plans can be seen here.
- Deptford Creekside has now commenced with 56 homes.
- The vast Convoys Wharf scheme will finally begin soon north of Deptford High Street. That will eventually see 3,500 homes 700 metres away.
- Just 100 metres east of the leisure centre is an application for 251 homes at Sun Wharf.
- In November 2020 Lewisham Council approved 250 homes beside the Laban Centre. That alone is potentially bringing over £5.1 million from the Community Infrastructure Levy as this extract shows:
That’s 4,250 homes within a short walk. There’s further substantial plots slightly further away such as Deptford Landings, which will see 1,132 homes. That’s 900 metres away.
The latest Lewisham Council S106, CIL and New Homes Bonus report states:
During 2019-20 £4.1 million was secured from signed S106 agreements, £2.2 million S106 funds have been collected and the balance of S106 funds is £43.6 million.
£5.8 million of CIL payments were received in 2019-20, significantly higher than that received last year. The CIL balance is £11.5 million and this is a direct consequence of the number of new homes completed and payments being
triggered when sites commence development. The Council is now allocating 25% of CIL funds to Neighbourhood CIL projects.
The Council’s New Homes Bonus for 2020-21 is approximately £6.2 million.
With so many homes, £700,000 doesn’t seem a particularly onerous amount to find to repair the pool which is a key local asset and community facility.
The petition can be seen here.