LEISURE centre chiefs have denied Andover’s new multi-million-pound facility has been built in the wrong place to where it is meant to be.

An application has been lodged by leisure provider Places for People to “retain minor changes” over the footprint of the new building after it has been constructed in a different way to what was approved under planning consent by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

Within the application, it states the centre has been constructed to take up more of a footprint in some areas, and less in others.

The Advertiser approached TVBC after it has been revealed that the council knew about the amended positions on October 23, 2017, but the changes were deemed to be minor and acceptable in planning terms, and an application was not lodged until October 25 this year.

A spokesman for TVBC said: “The building is now 1.2m further away from the nearby dwellings and has reduced in height by 60cm.

“Given the nature of the amendments within the context of the overall scale of the development, it is acceptable for the changes to be considered as a variation to the original application. However, to ensure the community is fully aware of the proposals the application has been given the same publicity as a full planning application.

“The delay in the submission of the application was to enable the applicants to make one submission to cover all the proposed amendments to the development, rather than a number of individual applications for each proposed change.

“Given that the council considered the changes to be minor and acceptable, there was no planning reason why the development should not have continued.”

Within the application, it states the siting was only amended following the demolition of the old centre and ground works for the new which found ground services were not identified at the planning stage and had to be retained.

A spokesperson for the centre said: “Throughout the build we have been working with the council planning officers as part of an ongoing process to ensure we deliver the best possible scheme for our community.

“Once the previous centre had been demolished from the site we were able to conduct more thorough inground service surveys which indicated that an adjustment to the plans were required.

“The application has been amended in accordance with planning requirements and the build’s external footprint has been slightly reduced, making it more environmentally friendly without compromising on the internal usage space for our customers.

“We are dedicated to providing the community of Andover with a high-quality leisure provision and will continue to work closely with the external planning team to ensure we deliver a sustainable and high-quality build that the community can proud of.”