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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 05:21 GMT 06:21 UK
Centre closure 'could be delayed'
Swimming pool
The swimming pool will still close in June under the proposal
Plans to close York's Barbican Centre for its redevelopment could be delayed for six months, it has emerged.

City of York Council said the company redeveloping the site, Absolute Leisure Limited (All), is unlikely to be able to start building work until November.

It is yet to secure planning permission for the plans, which include 240 flats, a hotel and a swimming pool.

Charlie Croft, the council's assistant director of leisure, said it made sense to delay the handover until 1 December.

The city council was due to hand over the site to the company on 31 May.

It seems strange to start 'decommissioning' the pool while there is still uncertainty about the planning decision
Councillor Alan Jones
But under the conditions of the land sale, All has to secure entertainment and liquor licences before it gets the site - and those cannot be obtained until planning permission is granted.

The final decision from the Secretary of State on whether to approve the scheme is not expected until the end of May.

"Given this, plus the fact that UK Snooker is still expected to hold the UK Snooker championships at the Barbican from 12 until 29 November, it makes sense to delay hand over to ALL until 1 December," said Mr Croft.

Under his proposal, which will be put to the council executive on 18 May, the Barbican's gym will remain open, along with the crèche.

But the swimming pool will still close in the first week of June to allow time for decommissioning ahead of the development work.

Reserving judgement

Mr Croft said the plan would also give existing staff more time to have their jobs moved elsewhere.

Alan Jones, Labour's spokesperson for leisure, said he would be reserving judgement on the proposal until he had time to study it carefully.

But he added: "The fact that the pool will still close in June does worry me.

"If the whole project is being put back by several months, the pool should remain open for the public to use.

"It seems strange to start 'decommissioning' the pool while there is still uncertainty about the planning decision."

New jobs vow for Barbican workers
04 Feb 04  |  North Yorkshire
More consultation on Barbican future
14 Jul 03  |  North Yorkshire
Council pools Barbican plans
20 Jun 03  |  North Yorkshire

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