Winchester Leisure Centre - Bar End Option Local Residents Consultation

Closed 14 Dec 2015

Opened 26 Nov 2015

Results expected 13 Jan 2016

Feedback updated 1 Feb 2016

We asked

We asked communities around Bar End, including Highcliffe and St Giles Hill for your views on issues of concern and opportunities for the local community if a new leisure centre was to be built at Bar End.

You said

85 responses were received online or in hard copy.

The facilities that ranked highest in terms of ‘facilities that would best serve the local community’ were: (in order of priority)

  • Café
  • Improved children’s play area located near to the residential area
  • Function rooms for hire and a small shop

There was support for improved outdoor activity facilities such as an outdoor gym and trim trail. The responses indicated a high proportion of the local community use the existing leisure centre and would use a pool and gym on a weekly basis.

The improvements required if a new leisure centre were built that ranked highest were:

  • Improved pedestrian access
  • Including a crossing on Bar End Road
  • Cycle routes and access by public transport

Other suggestions raised were improved connectivity with local footpaths and improved access routes to the playing fields.

The issues of concern that ranked highest were:

  • Increased traffic
  • Impact of surface water flooding on the lower playing fields and on Chilcomb Lane

There was also concern about the impact on landscape views, light pollution and noise.

We did


This consultation is part of an ongoing process to agree the future for our leisure facilities, and we wanted to understand the view of local people living and working in the Bar End area to bring forward ideas and deal with potential issues at an early stage of the development of this preferred option. A summary of the survey responses, comments from consultation events and responses from potential partners has been discussed by our project team and provided to the architects to inform concept designs. 

In response to key concerns raised in relation to providing enough parking on site and traffic impact on the local road network a full transport assessment (TA) has been commissioned. This is a piece of work that would normally be done at the planning application stage of the process, however doing it at this early stage  will ensure that the Council’s decision making can take into account these sorts of issues and possible solutions.

The concept designs being worked on now will be made available later this year. The City Council’s Cabinet will be provided with an update in March and in November the full council will be asked to make a decision on the preferred option of a new leisure centre at Bar End or the fall back option of refurbishing the existing leisure centre.




The existing leisure centre in Winchester is over 40 years old and the cost of maintaining the centre will increase significantly over coming years. In addition, the question arises as to whether the existing leisure centre can continue to meet the needs of a growing population alongside the already high participation levels in sport in our district.

In September 2015 Cabinet decided on a preferred option of a new leisure centre at Bar End with the refurbishment of the existing Leisure Centre as a second option.

It should be stressed that until those detailed proposals have been assessed the Council has not made a firm commitment to build a new leisure centre.  This is a major financial decision and it must be financially sustainable. Partnership funding will also need to be secured.

The second option being considered is a substantial refurbishment of the existing building, but this will not fundamentally change the facilities available.

The area of land we are looking at for the potential leisure centre at Bar End is to the east of the sports stadium. If the play park area is built on a replacement play park will be provided as part of the scheme.

The Bar End Depot side will be reused. The Leader of the Council has stated that realising a full commercial value from the site is not part of the financial planning for the new leisure centre.

Why your views matter

Following consultation in 2013/14 we are now embarking on a local phase of this work. This will be followed by a wider public consultation early in 2016. These two elements of consultation, alongside ongoing conversations with partners and key stakeholders, will further inform concept designs for what a new leisure centre could look like and the council's options.

If a decision is taken to progress the preferred option of a new leisure centre at Bar End, key stakeholders will be involved in the development of detailed plans and further consultation will take place as part of the planning process.


  • St John And All Saints


  • All Residents


  • Community Facility