DELAYS in the demolition of an old leisure centre has forced Bolton Council to submit plans for a temporary car park as the replacement facility nears completion.

The authority has proposed to use a former contractor’s compound in Old Station Park, Horwich, for 82 spaces for a period of 12 months.

The planning statement said the funding for the demolition of the old leisure facility, which is to be turned into a health centre, has been delayed.

As the new leisure centre is due to open by the end of September, the delay means there would not be car parking available for users.

The planning statement read: “The proposal is to retain the existing contractor’s access and barrier fencing, for the use of the new Horwich Leisure Centre at Old Station Park, as accessed from Chorley New Road, and to utilise the contractor’s compound as a temporary public car park for a period of twelve months.

“The car park needs to be in place for end of September 2017 as the Horwich Leisure Centre is set to open.

“There has been a delay in achieving health funding for the demolition of the former leisure centre building and allowing car parking spaces to be allocated off Victoria Road.

“The contractor’s compound has an existing dedicated and approved design and highway access from Chorley New Road.”

As part of the plans for the temporary car park, which is just off Drinkwater Lane, modifications would be made to provide public access on the footpath to Gresley Avenue.

As well as the 82 spaces, there would also be a further 50 around the site of the leisure centre, where disabled parking spaces would be sited.

The car park would operated Monday to Friday from 5pm to 9pm and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The planning statement continued: “A further reason to favour the Drinkwater Lane option is that the route will also be required by a new contractor for the refurbishment of the synthetic turf pitch surfacing, fencing and lighting.

“The access for construction traffic would be during the working week 8am to 5pm. This pitch refurbishment work would be a sixteen week period ending in January 2018.”

The new £10million leisure centre in Victoria Road will include a six-lane swimming pool, separate training pool, a four-court sports hall on the lower ground floor and a swimming pool viewing gallery.

There will also be a 100-station fitness suite multi-function studio with a kitchen and reception area on the upper floor as well as changing room facilities.

A recent statement from Bolton Community Leisure Trust and Bolton Council said: “Our multi-million pound redevelopment of Horwich Leisure Centre is progressing really well and the inside is now taking shape.

“Lots of work is going on behind the scenes to fit out the building, which when it opens will be a hugely important facility for the local community.”

The new facility is being erected on the site of the former car park.