MAJOR plans for a brand new swimming pool in Billericay appear to have been scrapped - with the council considering an extension instead.

Previously, major plans had been announced to completely rebuild the swimming build to the tune of £9 million.

But with Basildon Council’s neighbourhood’s and public spaces committee due to meet next week, council officers have recommended that instead the swimming pool and facilities are extended, rather than being demolished and rebuilt.

The report states that a fire at the swimming pool in September last year has meant that a large amount of renovation work is underway - nullifying the need for a complete rebuild.

Rather, the committee is being recommended to task officers with producing a detailed plan in relation to the site and costings.

Although they will have the option of voting for a new build facility, or voting for a private pool to be funded by the council.

It has been stated a new build pool could cost £8.9million, while an extension could be completed for just under £6million.

The report read: “Subsequent to the committee’s direction to carry out the consultation exercise, the existing facility suffered significant damage from a fire in September 2018 that resulted in the immediate closure of the facility.

“The council have been working with the existing tenants since the fire and restoration works are set to complete this autumn.

“The restoration works are delivering important modernisation and compliancy improvements that were not economically viable when the regeneration and environment committee were previously asked to consider future options for the facility.

“These works will improve the longevity of the facility, but will not meet the outcomes of the consultation in relation to additional pool and fitness space and an additional opportunity is therefore available to the committee to task officers with ascertaining the feasibility of an extension to the existing facility, similar to the improvement works delivered to Wickford Swim and Fitness Centre.”

Committee chairman David Harrison said: "We needed to consult with the local community to enable us to make an informed decision on the future of this popular facility. Ensuring that local residents have good access to quality leisure facilities is a key priority for us so I am pleased to be bringing this item back to committee move things forward."

The Billericay Swimming Pool was built in 1986 and has been operated privately since 2008. It currently provides a 25 metre by 8 metre pool which is predominantly used for swimming lessons.