Deeping St James

By Local Democracy Reporter

The Deepings Leisure Centre isn’t expected to reopen until January 2025.

The leisure centre in Deepings St James closed last summer due to safety concerns over the leaky roof.

The repairs have been complicated by the lack of a lease, with South Kesteven District Council unable to being work until it is agreed. Negotiations on this still in process.

The roof is so precarious that even putting a tarpaulin on the roof could cause it to collapse.

Councillor Phil Dilks accused the council of neglecting the leisure centre, but they say that their hands have been tied.

“Next month, it will be a full year since the leisure centre was temporarily closed due to the leaky roof. This council has failed to provide proper maintenance year after year,” he told a meeting of the council’s Culture and Visitor Economy Panel.

“The required work can’t being until a lease has been agreed.

“The numbers of talented youngsters going to early morning swim coaching have dwindled away from 20 to just three or four. Parents have been facing a 20 mile round trip in the morning to take them to other leisure centres.”

Repairs have been complicated due to contract issues

The site is owned by Lincolnshire County Council and leased to Deepings School under a long lease – however there is no signed lease in place.

Councillor Judy Stevens responded that the historic problems meant that the issue would take time to resolve.

“The signing of the lease isn’t an issue that has come up in recent years – this has been an ongoing problem since the 1970s. The proper land ownership was never clarified,” she said.

“A lot of criticism has been levelled at SKDC, but many officers have tried to unravel this extremely difficult set of circumstances.

“This should be a lesson that when we enter into an agreement into future, we need to make sure we know exactly what is being agreed.”

Council officers have confirmed that work was underway to agree a lease so work could begin.

The current estimate is that it would be January 2025 before the repairs had been made and the centre was reopened.

Surveys have been carried out to assess the state of the lesiure centres in Stamford, Grantham and Bourne.

The council recently approved £10.7million plans which will see the learner pool retained as well as a full remodelling and refurbishment.

The leisure centre’s website says: “This would significantly improve its current facilities and secure its future for the next 25 years.

“SKDC is committed to providing leisure facilities which its customers can be proud of, enabling you to lead healthy lives by participating in a wide range of activities.”

The second phase of a 145-home development has been approved by South Kesteven District Council.

The authority’s planning committee gave the go ahead to the 69-house section of Linden Homes’ plans for the western area of land off Linchfield Road.

Improvements to the original plans included a reduction in the distance bins would have to travel, a feature square, new boundary treatments and parking layout improvements.

Concerns from residents included the impact on traffic, noise, privacy and light, as well as some original elements missing, including stone houses and bungalows.

Ward Councillor Judy Stevens said it was “very important to the people of Deeping St James” to get it right.

Councillor Kate Shinkins-Hoppe, from Deeping St James parish council, said that despite improvements, there were still concerns over drainage, impact on the character, footpaths and traffic.

“Our parish council appreciates the work completed so far, however, when compared against new legislation, the current draft development falls short,” she said.

How the new phase will be laid out.

Councillors also criticised the designs, with Councillor Virginia Moran calling them “little boxes which are ticky tacky”.

The developers said they had engaged positively with the council.

Agent Georgina McRae said: “The scene before you today will provide a good quality design and a development that will be appropriate and integrate well with surrounding context, the internal layout and being at space are considered to be appropriate.”

The development includes nearly £1 million contributions towards health, education and public transport.

Councillors included new conditions for a construction management plan with a new access point to the site, as well as for three additional houses to be in stone and for details of street furniture to be provided and approved at a later stage.

A man who grabbed a police officer round the throat in Deeping St James has been sentenced to four months in prison.

Matthew Warner, 22, of no fixed address, breached a court order as well as committing the assault on Monday, May 11.

The officer was left with markings and swellings around his neck after the incident.

He appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 19.

Chief Inspector Phil Vickers said: “I would like to pay testament to the officer and his colleagues who came to his assistance.

“Their reaction to the escalating situation was swift and brave, and they dealt with the challenge with the utmost professionalism.”

Between March 23 and May 5 there were 47 assaults on police officers recorded in Lincolnshire.

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