A NEW leisure centre is unlikely to be built at Eastwood Park, despite plans for a feasibility study.

That’s after Shawwood Park was identified as the preferred location for the £30million Eastwood Leisure Centre.

A report by Turner and Townsend Consultants has called on East Renfrewshire Council to rule out using Woodfarm, Huntly Park, Rouken Glen and Drumby as potential build sites.

READ MORE: Council chiefs urged to consider ‘alternative’ plan for Eastwood Leisure Centre

And it has claimed that only Shawwood, Broomburn and Overlee are suitable for a new facility.

Benny McLaughlin, who wrote the report, also insisted that Eastwood Park is not suitable.

He said: “In order to build the new facility at Eastwood Park, the current facility would require to be demolished. This would have an enormous impact on the Eastwood Park site, management of construction and site, traffic management, health and safety and the inevitable impact on St Ninian’s during exam times.

“The Trust and Eastwood Leisure Centre, the theatre and Carmichael Hall users would incur a detrimental loss of service. This is due to the need to demolish the current facility in order to allow for the development of the new-build facility on the same site.

“There is hard evidence to show that, once people are deprived of a facility, many do not return as they will have made alternative arrangements during the period of closure.”

He also said there would be detrimental financial implications for the council and the Trust.

The new Eastwood Leisure Centre, if it goes ahead, is expected to be almost three times the size of the existing complex, with the potential for a competition-equipped swimming pool and a spectator area.

Plans are also expected to include a new gym, modern changing facilities, a minimum of six badminton courts, two studios, four outdoor five-a-side football pitches and 210 parking spaces.

There could also be space for a conference suite, play area and library.

But Eastwood Park is unlikely to have space for the new centre as the council has identified the need to extend St Ninian’s High School by 2025 to increase its denominational education offering.

As part of masterplan work on the future of Eastwood Park, the council’s headquarters will also be under review and could potentially be demolished.

The council’s director of environment, Andrew Cahill, will now explore the feasibility of a new-build leisure centre within Eastwood Park, based on the potential for more denominational school provision and the possibility that the council HQ could be demolished.

Barrhead News:

The council hit back at the claims of Jackson Carlaw (left) and Paul Masterton 

That work is also expected to include alternative locations, including Shawwood Park.

A report with an options appraisal for the leisure centre will go back to councillors next year.

Meanwhile, the council has rubbished claims by East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton and Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw that a decision has been made on where the new leisure centre will be based.

READ MORE: £1million heating investment gives residents that warm feeling

A spokesman said: “It is absolutely not the case that any decision has been taken over a proposed site for the location of a new leisure centre.

A report going to a meeting of the full council quite clearly indicates that a new study is to be carried out, looking at the feasibility of a new leisure centre in Eastwood Park.

“Once this work has been completed, the Director of Environment will report back to the council.”