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Swaffham pool plan doubt as covenant from 2000 comes to light

An application for a private swimming pool in Swaffham has been hampered by a formal agreement made by Breckland Council which dates back 19-years-ago.

It comes after Breckland had approved Karen Bromley’s application for a new pool at 23 Turbine Way in May.

The properties 21-25 at Turbine Way were originally owned by Breckland Council.

And it has been discovered that when these properties were sold in May 2000, the council imposed a restrictive covenant on the future use of these properties.

The covenant was imposed for estate management purposes-to protect Breckland’s adjoining land and property and to safeguard the council’s tenants.

Breckland made the agreement with EcoTech Developments Limited on May, 25, 2000.

Brett Girling, commercial property manager for Breckland said: “This is an extremely important and key legal point that should have been raised with the interested tenant from the outset of their enquiries.

“The Council needs to continue to manage its adjacent land and property for the benefit of all users and feels that other uses would be detrimental to its ongoing landlord and tenant responsibilities.”

Mr Girling said Breckland will not support a request to release the covenant.

Breckland Council had granted planning permission to Karen Bromley, but a covenant from 2000 has hampered her plan
Breckland Council had granted planning permission to Karen Bromley, but a covenant from 2000 has hampered her plan

Independent Breckland councillor for Swaffham, David Wickerson, said the covenant also prevented the Everybody Health and Fitness gym from moving to new premises.

Mr Wickerson added: “I guess the issue I am struggling with is that this was not mentioned to either party [Mrs Bromley and Everybody] at the time they had planning permission.

“I have not had a chance to discuss it with anyone yet, but my main concern is twofold. It seems those covenants were not disclosed to anybody within the gym and pool.

“The lease on the gym was about to run out and this was going to be the owner’s alternative gym in Swaffham, and now it may never happen.

“I had no reason to know about this until it all flared up and the lesson has been learnt, but is a lesson to let planners know it [the covenant] is not going to disappear unless Breckland can be persuaded otherwise.”

Swaffham town mayor Jill Skinner said: “Can a covenant be retracted I wonder? Obviously this pool would not have serviced all the people and we shall continue our quest for a public pool.”

Ed Colman, a Conservative Breckland councillor for Swaffham said: "I am not aware of any covenant but know the Council is in ongoing conversations with the applicant."

Mrs Bromley has been contacted for comment.

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