A PLANNING application has been submitted for a new £20 million sustainable leisure centre in Widnes.

Designs by Wates Construction Ltd on behalf of Halton Borough Council to replace Kingsway Leisure Centre would include a 25mx6 lane swimming pool with a learner pool and seating for around 150 people, 100-station gym and a four court sports hall.

In addition, it will have both a spinning and exercise studio, squash court, complementary facilities, soft play area, health consultation rooms and a café/social space.

Halton Borough Council has been working with Wates Construction and Ellis Williams Architects of Runcorn and the proposed centre has been designed to be more environmentally friendly with lower carbon emissions and reduced energy costs.

The council’s portfolio holder for sport and leisure Phil Harris said: "The proposals are for a centre which is fit for purpose in terms of accessibility and sustainability. It will be open to all, with a design that is also dementia-friendly and would make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of our residents. We are also exploring virtual reality-related exercise in the spinning studio.

"Despite the standard 21 days, interested parties can send their comments to the planning department up until the application is due for determination, which will not be until the end of June at the earliest.”

Dave Saville, business unit director for Wates Construction in the North West, said: “This leisure centre represents a major placemaking opportunity for Widnes.

“We welcome all feedback on these designs and look forward to delivering this project efficiently and safely for the people of Widnes to enjoy.”

The creation of a modern, attractive building on the Moor Lane site will also serve to enhance the area and bring extra activity and footfall. It is anticipated that the centre would be open from 6.30am to 10pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 9pm at weekends.

There would be car parking for more than 150 vehicles and, in keeping with the project’s sustainability principles, five vehicle electric charging points with infrastructure to add up to 15 more.

Residents can submit their comments on the proposals via the council’s online planning portal at: https://webapp.halton.gov.uk/planningapps/ or by e-mailing