Invitation to view and comment on leisure centre plans

Drawing of site plan

Posted on: 10 February 2017

Help shape plans for a new swimming pool and leisure facilities for North Devon.

North Devon Council would like to know what local people think of plans to extend the Tarka Tennis Centre to include a new eight-lane 25m pool, learner pool and fitness gym, exercise studios, sports hall and a full size 3G artificial grass pitch.

The council is holding a public consultation event at North Devon Leisure Centre from 10am-9pm on Wednesday 22 February, to find out how local people use their leisure facilities and what they will need within the new facilities to make their experiences better. The architects, leisure consultant and council staff will be on hand to discuss the project and record public opinion.

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “Our plans for a new leisure centre are picking up pace. In January we appointed a leisure consultant and architect and we now wish to consult the public on our design concepts before we move forward. We want to make sure we’re including the right mix of leisure facilities and to do so we need to hear from the people who plan to use the centre.

“North Devon Leisure Centre is coming to the end of its life and we have a great opportunity now to deliver a replacement facility that meets the needs of as many people as possible. Realistically, we won’t be able to meet everyone’s aspirations – we know we can’t afford to replace everything we have in the existing leisure centre and building a 50m pool, for example, is just too expensive to deliver. Please pop down to the leisure centre on 22 February to let us know what you think.”

If the council is successful in its bids for Sport England funding and can obtain planning consent, construction of the new pool and leisure facilities at Tarka Tennis Centre could begin in Autumn 2018 and be complete by Summer 2020.

If you can’t make it to the event but would like to comment on the new facilities, you will be able to fill in an online form at from Wednesday 22 February.

14 comments on “Invitation to view and comment on leisure centre plans

  1. Lindsay says:

    It would be fantastic if there was more than one sports hall within the new facility and somewhere to hold events. We have a successful Roller Derby team plus juniors and there is currently a lack of hall space to hire, there are clearly lots of people wanting to get fit and North Devon has had so many houses built over the years since the leisure centre was built yet the sports facilities have not matched.

    • Mair says:

      Thank you for your comments and your interest in the project. The initial specification for the sports hall is for an over-sized four-court sports hall suitable for hosting Roller Derby, measuring 35m x 25m.

      Whilst we would like to include more facilities within the new leisure building than those we have listed as our minimum requirements, we have to balance this against affordability. By law, we can only ask for contributions from a maximum of five new housing developments to contribute towards one project. In reality the council will have to borrow at least 75% of the total project costs.

      To follow the progress of the project, you can sign up to our blog, which is updated whenever there is a project milestone:

  2. David says:

    I wish to register my concerns regarding the lack of provision for squash within the proposed plans. Knowing how busy the courts are during the evenings I am astonished the courts have been omitted from the proposals! I have followed your published link above and your are unable to comment as the leisure centre plans are not on the portal! Please can this be added to allow the public to be consulted properly!

    • Mair says:

      Thank you for your comments. The online consultation is now closed, which is why the link isn’t working. I will pass your comments on to our sports and leisure officer for his information. There will be further consultations as the project develops. Kind regards.

  3. Nigel Thompson says:

    Can’t believe there will be no squash courts. I have been a member of Barnstaple Squash Club for over 30 years seeing a vast number of players of all ages come and go. Our club, despite reports of falling numbers, is currently thriving this season. There will be no where in Barnstaple to play squash if the limited facilities are added to the Tarka Tennis Centre.
    Surely this sport should be promoted in A growing region with more people moving in who and the youngsters would like the chance to play squash in their hometown.

  4. Enid Joslin says:

    As a member of the indoor bowls club in the current centre, it is disturbing to see that there is no provision made in the new centre for bowling. Can anyone who planned the facilities for the new centre explain why?

    • Mair says:

      Hi Enid. The sports and leisure team is holding a public consultation event today at the leisure centre, if you have time perhaps you could call in and talk to them? They will be there until 9pm this evening. If not, I will ask them to contact you directly. Kind regards.

  5. Paul Fry says:

    Can we please remember in the Sports Hall that Badminton is one of the only sports to be played there where the lighting and colours are important to benefit the game. Green and Blue/purple is ideal with the lighting being in-between the courts so as not to shine in players faces when playing the shuttle. Makes a huge difference and will attract a lot more to play there. Having a non-slip floor if the mats aren’t going to be used again adds to better play and a safe environment. High Wycombe badminton club and the Badminton HQ at Milton Keynes are perfect examples of how a sports hall should look.

  6. Jeannie Smith says:

    It would be a real boost to tourism in North Devon if the leisure centre included a fun pool, with flumes, and possibly a wave machine. At the moment Bude is the nearest. This would attract many more people than a straightforward swimming pool, so would be cost effective.

  7. David Richardson says:

    Plans should include more leisure pool activities e.g. Beach area, children’s leisure pool. This will attract tourists to the town in poor weather, support local children in increasing their leisure opportunities and may provide a destination (including new Asda development) for weekend activities

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Posted in: Leisure