BUILDING work will start next month on Gosport’s new £7.2m leisure park.
There have been delays with legal agreements for work to replace the run-down Holbrook Recreation Centre, which was due to start earlier this year.
But the leader of Gosport Borough Council has said the development will now go ahead in the new year.
Gosport Leisure Park will have a 25m pool, learner pool, fitness and dance studio and play area.
Outside, there will be five-a-side and seven-a-side all-weather football pitches and parking.
And the jewel in the crown will be the construction of the town’s first chain hotel, run by Premier Inn.
The council leader, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘It has taken a bit of time but I’m delighted.
‘The council is working with four partners on a large number of complex legal documents and approvals which take a long time.
‘But I have been determined to get the best for Gosport and not just rush things along for quick political gain.
‘Gosport deserves the best.
‘I’m looking forward to it because it’s been a few years and we have kept it at the £7.2m price tag as well.
‘The year of 2012 should be an exciting year when you look at the Bus Rapid Transit scheme, the leisure park, the enterprise zone and Haslar.’
Cllr Hook says he hopes parts of the leisure park will be ready in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Another planning application had to be submitted to deal with minor changes to the landscaping of the hotel.
Construction work will take place around the current Holbrook Recreation Centre, which remains open until the final stages of the development.
Preliminary work is currently being carried out at the site in Forest Way.
And orders have already been placed for the steelwork needed to start building the leisure centre.