Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Andover swimming pool closure goes ahead despite protests

Andover's swimming pool
Image caption Andover's swimming pool is set for demolition

A swimming pool has been closed while a new leisure centre is built, despite protests from campaigners.

The current pool and sports hall in Andover is shutting with a new £16m complex not due to open for two years and no temporary facility yet in place.

Critics said they would have to travel to Basingstoke or Romsey to swim.

The council said it hoped to have a temporary pool in place within four months.

Test Valley Council's planning committee approved plans for the new leisure centre to be built and run by People Leisure Management Ltd.

Users of the pool said it would mean car journeys of about 30 minutes to either Romsey or Basingstoke for swimming lessons or club activities.

The Andover Swimming and Water Polo Club said any delay before a temporary pool was available would be "detrimental".

Test Valley Borough Council's community and leisure portfolio holder, Tony Ward said it was "short-term loss for a long term gain".

The new leisure centre is due to open in spring 2019.

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