Plans to replace former marina and leisure club with holiday flats scrapped

Buckden Marina and Leisure Club.
-Credit: (Image: Buckden Properties Ltd)

A former waterside leisure centre will no longer be converted into holiday flats after plans were scrapped. Buckden Marina and Leisure Centre, on Mill Road, Buckden, closed in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plans were since put forward to build 15 new holiday lets on the site along with parking, moorings and cycle parking. A mixture of eight one-beds and seven two-beds were due to be spread out over two storeys.

There were previous proposals for the site last year, but they were rejected because of the loss of leisure facilities, such as the swimming pool, spa, steam room, sauna and gym. Planning officers also raised concerns over the potential impact on the countryside.

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The new plans were put forward to address these issues and reduce the number of lets from 20 to 15. However, they still sparked a number of objections from locals, who cited their desire for the facility to stay.

One person said: "The proposal would see a loss in a necessary venue to the immediate community and beyond. As it currently stands, Buckden Marina is the only place within miles where the community can experience and enjoy the natural environment."

Another commented: "The demolition of this facility (which is a great asset to the area) would be a massive detriment to the entire community who want to improve their health - as other facilities, i.e. swimming pools are much further away and for some not possible to get to. More apartments will not bring any benefit to the area."

A design and access statement from developers Buckden Properties Ltd said: "Buckden Marina is set just outside of Buckden itself. It is home to holiday lodge owners which have the benefits of the site and surrounding areas, the residents are able to make use of their lodges for a number of months in the years then they are vacant, in line with holiday lets regulations.

"The current building which was used as a leisure facility some years ago is now becoming dilapidated and an eyesore in a predominant area on the site. The remedial work to make the building aesthetically pleasing and up to current commercial standards is becoming unviable.

"The proposed scheme to increase the number of lets within Buckden Marina, will help boost the area not just within the marina site itself but to help increase footfall within the surrounding towns and villages which will in affect boost economy to the area."

The application was confirmed to have been withdrawn on July 1, 2024. It is currently unknown whether the plans will be revised and resubmitted.

To view the plans in full, visit the district council's planning portal, using the reference 23/02344/FUL, or click here.

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