A multi-million pound scheme to build a new leisure centre in Bloxwich has been thrown into doubt amid complications over land ownership.
Talks must now take place between Walsall Council bosses and the Charity Commission in a bid to overcome hurdles over building on trust land. Walsall Council plans to demolish the existing leisure centre, in High Street, and build a new centre in its place.
However, it would need to take up space on Bloxwich and Leamore recreation ground, which provides football pitches, a skateboard park, sensory garden, tennis courts, bowling green and pavilion.
The authority was appointed the manager of the land under a trust deed in 1930, which restricted the use for playing fields and public recreation for the benefit of local residents.
Under the agreement, the authority cannot erect any building, except for a pavilion or caretaker’s house or other structures appropriate for its use as a recreation and pleasure ground.
In the report, planning solicitor Alison Sargent said: “Without the ability to utilise trust land for the purposes of the leisure centre, the development scheme is unlikely to come to fruition.”
At Monday’s meeting, councillors will be asked to approve the start of negotiations with the Charity Commission.
Council bosses made a u-turn on plans to build the leisure centre on the site of the Education Support Centre, in Field Road, and Pinfold Centre, in Field Close, after a long-standing charity providing training opportunities objected to the plans.