DETAILED plans to transform Acton's town hall, library and baths into an £18 million leisure and community centre are expected to be rubber-stamped by councillors within weeks.
The new complex, in Acton High Street, will be built with a £13.2 million investment by the council with the rest of the cost met by selling off parts of the buildings, likely to become a mixture of housing, restaurant and retail space.
Once completed in 2014, it will feature a new gym, library, pool, space for community groups to hire and council offices. At 25 metres long, the pool will be shorter than the current one but wider with eight lanes instead of four.
The iconic frontage of the town hall and the chimney at the back, both grade II listed, will both be kept. The facade of the Kings Rooms will stay but the rest will be demolished, along with the baths.
The new library will be housed inside the town hall, with the old one being sold off.
The council will continue to provide day care and drop-in services from the newly refurbished building. There will also be spaces on the second floor for a mixture of activity, sensory and therapy rooms to provide services for children and adults. These spaces will be available for community hire in the evenings and at weekends.
The nearby Priory Community Centre, in nearby Acton Lane, was to be sold off to help pay for the development but will now be turned into a primary school because of pressure on places.
The plans will go before the planning committee on March 14. If the committee agrees the plans, they will then be sent to the National Planning Casework unit, part of the Department for Communities and Local Government for final approval.
Contact Shehzad Ahmed by emailing email@example.com to have your say on the plans.
Residents give their views on the plans - see page 2
BRIDGET HAYDEN, 85, ALFRED ROAD
It's not necessary to redevelop the pool. It's not money well spent. I couldn't believe it when I heard it had closed, and they shouldn't have closed it without the plans being approved first.
RONALD WILSON, 75, EAST ACTON
It doesn't look any different but I think it should be done up anyway – it's getting a bit old. £13 million isn't much these days. It's money well spent as long as it's spent properly. It was premature to close the pool – a lot of people still go swimming in the winter so the council are losing that money.
TERENCE PETTITT, 72, SOUTHFIELD ROAD
No one likes the council spending money but it'll certainly be an improvement. Most people ignore consultations, or talk negatively about them but don't do anything, like filling in a form about it.
FARID MAJIDI, 47, BROUNCKER ROAD
I like it like this, the new design. The current building needs some work on it. I'd use the new pool, and my children would as well. It's good for the future – people will use and enjoy the facilities.