Connect with us

News

Fenland Council reveals Whittlesey, March and Wisbech leisure centres being checked for RAAC

“Any RAAC discovered may have a significant impact on useability of the facilities, as well as ongoing capital costs for remediation.”

Avatar photo

Published

on

Fenland District Council has revealed it is checking three of its four leisure centres to see if any contain the dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, better known as RAAC. The material – already found in many schools across the UK and buildings such as the Key Theatre, Peterborough – may have been used in leisure centres at Wisbech, March and Whittlesey.

A report to be presented to the Cabinet of Fenland District Council on November 20 says: “FDC is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction.

“Any RAAC discovered may have a significant impact on useability of the facilities, as well as ongoing capital costs for remediation.”

Advertisements
Pictures

Government advice has been for local authorities to mainly check on schools and colleges which they believe might be most at risk.

It describes RAAC as a lightweight, ‘bubbly’ form of concrete commonly used in construction between the 1950s and mid-1990s.

Manor, Whittlesey: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.


Manor, Whittlesey: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.

“It is predominantly found as precast panels in roofs (commonly flat roofs, sometimes pitched) and occasionally in floors and walls,” notes the Government advice.

The Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers says RAAC was a cheaper alternative to standard concrete and quicker to produce and easier to install.

“But it is less durable and has a lifespan of around 30 years,” it warns.

News of the tests being carried out by Fenland District Council are revealed in a wide-ranging report on the state of leisure centres produced by Phil Hughes, head of service.

He says the main thrust of his report is to encourage the council to develop a leisure strategy to “inform capital investment required”.

Mr Hughes says the Manor at Whittlesey, the Hudson at Wisbech and the George Campbell at March are “elderly” and “will require significant investment in the near term”.

Chatteris Leisure Centre is more recent (it opened in 2012) and is excluded from most of his report.

“For the purpose of this paper Chatteris Leisure has not been considered as it is a modern building with expected ongoing maintenance costs for the next decade to be limited,” he says.

Mr Hughes says a 2021 conditions survey assessment of the facilities has identified standstill costs of approximately £8.455m (adjusted for inflation) in the short term (0-5 years).

Additionally, a further £2.060m has been identified after year 5.

He wants Cabinet to “understand” the requirements for these centre and is recommending £100,000 is spent to carry out an extensive evaluation of future requirements.

Mr Hughes says: “The three larger centres are all of a significant age and as such, despite ongoing maintenance and some investment from time to time, are showing that age.

“Work was last carried out to modernise them approximately 9 years ago. Despite this work, they are falling behind what the community expects of a modern facility.”

The Hudson, Wisbech

Hudson, Wisbech: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.

Hudson, Wisbech: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.

Pool build date 1974

Sports hall mid-1970’s

Gym section (formally the indoor bowls hall) 1980’s

George Campbell (GCLC), March

George Campbell, March: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.

George Campbell, March: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.

Pool and current older gym section and spinning room 1960’s Pool covered, and reception area added in 1984

Gym changing rooms early 1990’s

New pool changing rooms 2013

Manor Centre, Whittlesey– consisting of 2 buildings, 30m apart

Manor, Whittlesey: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.


Manor, Whittlesey: ‘Fenland District Council is currently undertaking a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete assessment (RAAC) of the leisure centres to identify if RAAC has been used in their construction’.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

Dry side building: (hall and soft play) built 1974

Swimming pool building: open air pool built 1966

Pool covered in 1984

Chatteris Leisure

“For the purpose of this paper Chatteris Leisure has not been considered as it is a modern building with expected ongoing maintenance costs for the next decade to be limited.”

“For the purpose of this paper Chatteris Leisure has not been considered as it is a modern building with expected ongoing maintenance costs for the next decade to be limited.”

Modern 10-year-old building, fit for purpose.

Mr Hughes says a conditions survey of the sites was undertaken by CIPFA (The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) in 2021 and identified required works – to stand still – in the short term “and the council has a capital budget in place to carry out some of these works.

“Some work has commenced, such as the leisure centre roofing project, some limited electrical works and the refurbishment of the GCLC gym changing rooms”.

His report also covers likely costs but points out that additional inflationary estimates since 2021 will be much higher.

Although FDC has spent approximately £644,000 on the leisure centre roofs in the past three years but he says work has not been carried out on the Manor sports hall roof.

This is “pending decisions regarding the future of the building due to the building’s short term (0-5 year) maintenance costs, as well as the £500,000 estimate for this roof’s repair / replacement”.

By re-evaluating priorities now, he says, the council would have an “opportunity to move forwards and not just stand still”

Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey

Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey

He says that the report, if funding is agreed, would be before Cabinet in late Spring 2024.

Towards the end of his report, he refers to a membership survey at the Manor.

He says it has identified that currently the membership at the centre only has a potential to grow by an additional 100 members.

“This analysis highlights that the current capacity of the gym and exercise studios is sufficient for the catchment of the centre and still has headroom for increased housing growth in the area,” he says.

“An increased capacity is not required in the facility.

“An assessment of the demand for pool use has not been completed as yet.”

Mr Hughes also says a “third party firm” has visited all three leisure centres and, using their expertise and an in-house architect, has assessed the facilities, and highlighted what each facility is likely to require in the shorter term in terms of making them fit for purpose going forwards for the next decade, as well as increasing the likelihood of them continuing to attract higher footfall.

“A second third party firm has assessed the Manor sports hall facility in terms of its removal and has costed necessary additions to the Manor poolside facility should the sport hall’s facilities be removed,” he says.

He lists the figures involved:

Manor Facility; • Cost to demolish dry side building; £787,500 + £200,000 asbestos removal contingency • Cost to demolish rifle range building; £122,625

Cost to reconstruct the following spaces added to the existing pool building once the dry side building was removed: • Studio • Dance Studio • Staff Office • Reception • Changing Rooms • Plant Room The total area of new accommodation would be 992m2.

Cost: approx. £5,097,000 (including the demolition costs highlighted above)

To add in a soft play facility, the floor area increases to 1,383m2. Cost: approx. £6,409,000 (including the demolition costs highlighted above).

But he warns that “these costs assessments are estimates based limited research and information”.

Mr Hughes adds that FDC has a contractual obligation with Freedom to maintain “non wear and tear aspects of our leisure facilities.

“If facilities are not fit for use, then Freedom may have cause to seek an alteration of the payment made to FDC annually for managing the facilities”.

 

 

Facebook

Read More

Peterborough Hilton Garden Hotel, Fletton Quays, Peterborough Picture by Terry Harris. Peterborough Hilton Garden Hotel, Fletton Quays, Peterborough Picture by Terry Harris.
News6 seconds ago

88 creditors owed £6.3m from collapse of Peterborough hotel company will lose it all

Covid blamed for failure to deliver 160 bedroom Hilton hotel

Jesus Green Lock footbridge (above) and Baits Bite Lock footbridge have been temporarily closed, following the Conservators of the River Cam’s decision to close both locks. PHOTO: Camcycle Jesus Green Lock footbridge (above) and Baits Bite Lock footbridge have been temporarily closed, following the Conservators of the River Cam’s decision to close both locks. PHOTO: Camcycle
News1 day ago

Shock Cambridge footbridge closures ‘unannounced and hugely controversial’

Closures will not affect access to the River Cam towpaths or access to Fen Road, Milton

Mind Mangler is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, May 25. PHOTO: Pamela Raith Mind Mangler is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, May 25. PHOTO: Pamela Raith
News1 day ago

‘Audience wasn’t just laughing, some were in hysterics’ Mind Mangler at Cambridge

REVIEW: Mind Mangler is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until May 25.

Neighbourhood officers were on patrol in Arbury on 15 March when they saw Elsi Hafizi hand over what they suspected was drugs to a woman. Neighbourhood officers were on patrol in Arbury on 15 March when they saw Elsi Hafizi hand over what they suspected was drugs to a woman.
News1 day ago

WATCH: Cocaine dealer caught in the act by Cambridge police

Police watch drug deal before arresting suspect

Labour group now 10 on Cambridgeshire County Council with the decision by Cllr Keith Prentice to join them. New line up revealed today. PHOTO: Cambridgeshire Labour Party Labour group now 10 on Cambridgeshire County Council with the decision by Cllr Keith Prentice to join them. New line up revealed today. PHOTO: Cambridgeshire Labour Party
News2 days ago

Former Cambridgeshire Conservative county councillor moves to Labour

Keith Prentice is the county councillor for St Neots Priory Park & Little Paxton

Charles Swift: a city councillor in Peterborough for 62 years. He is thought to have been the longest serving councillor in the country Charles Swift: a city councillor in Peterborough for 62 years. He is thought to have been the longest serving councillor in the country
News2 days ago

62 years a councillor, Peterborough honours former city mayor Charles Swift

Charles Swift passed away in August 2022 aged 92

Residents are asked to have their say on the Waterbeach to Cambridge transport scheme, that will support thousands of new homes being built in the new town and provide quick and easy options to avoid travelling on the busy A10. Residents are asked to have their say on the Waterbeach to Cambridge transport scheme, that will support thousands of new homes being built in the new town and provide quick and easy options to avoid travelling on the busy A10.
News2 days ago

Help us shape Waterbeach to Cambridge transport plans says GCP

There are three public events where people can find out more

Rytis Lisauskas, 32, had been turning up at the victim’s home in Peterborough every day since their decade-long relationship ended in July last year. Rytis Lisauskas, 32, had been turning up at the victim’s home in Peterborough every day since their decade-long relationship ended in July last year.
Crime2 days ago

Huntingdon stalker jailed for ‘violent attacks’ on ex wife in Peterborough

Victim and her family experienced 'traumatic' time

Renaldo Denollari of Elderberry Close, Ely, grew cannabis in 2 bedrooms and his loft in Ely. He has been jailed Renaldo Denollari of Elderberry Close, Ely, grew cannabis in 2 bedrooms and his loft in Ely. He has been jailed
Crime2 days ago

Jail for Ely man who used 2 bedrooms and a loft to grow cannabis

Police offer reminder on how to spot a cannabis 'farm'

Cllr Marco Cereste, surrounded by family and friends, is believed to be the first person of Italian ethnicity to be elected mayor of a British city. PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Marco Cereste, surrounded by family and friends, is believed to be the first person of Italian ethnicity to be elected mayor of a British city. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News2 days ago

In Peterborough Il nuovo sindaco è italiano – the new mayor is Italian

Cllr Marco Cereste arrived in England in 1953 on Coronation Day