SWIMMERS could be set to make a splash at a new Hampshire pool after planners approved multi-million pound plans for a leisure complex.

Fareham Borough Council’s planning chiefs have granted outline planning permission for the swimming pool and leisure facility on land at the Coldeast site in Sarisbury.

Work is expected to begin on the complex within the next 18 months.

When built, the complex is expected to include a sixlane, 25-metre pool, changing rooms, a viewing area, 100 fitness stations, a separate exercise room, and car parking.

Councillors agreed to transfer the land from the Homes and C o m m u n i t i e s Agency to the authority and approve a provisional £7million to the provision of the new pool, which will be funded from the council’s capital reserves and borrowing.

It was also agreed options to replenish the authority’s capital reserves through the sale of existing assets will be explored.

The decision comes after a study was carried out within the borough in June last year, which supported the need for an additional pool in Fareham.

It highlighted an increasing population, increasing levels of adult and child obesity, high levels of demand, a deficit in accessible water space, and a high number of residents swimming outside of the borough, among the findings.

The future of the Coldeast site, which was the home of a former NHS hospital, has been a topic of debate since it closed in 2005.

Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said the new leisure complex is something people living in the west of the borough really want to see.

He said: “Fareham Leisure Centre in the town is extremely successful and is to have £1.5milion spent on it at the moment. It’s ever so popular and very busy.

“But it means there is no space for extra people to swim there. It is something which residents west of the borough have told us, and they would like to see a pool there.”