Gurnell Leisure Centre redevelopment

Ealing Council is proposing new plans to revitalise Gurnell Leisure Centre. We want to make it a place to encourage healthy and fulfilling lifestyles for our borough residents. We are reviewing options to best deliver the new leisure centre. These options will use feedback from local stakeholders and community members. Before consulting on the detailed plans with our communities early next year.

About Gurnell Leisure Centre

Built in the 1970s, Gurnell Leisure Centre has served the local community as a fitness and well-being hub for many decades. The entire site lies within Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). The building’s declining state led to its permanent closure in August 2020.

Planning history

The Gurnell Leisure Centre site had a previous planning application which was refused in 2021. The application sought the demolition and replacement of the existing leisure centre and approximately 600 new homes across 6 buildings (ranging from 6 to 17 storeys).

A need for development 

All options have been explored to provide a reimagined leisure centre on the site. These include the reuse, retrofitting and repurposing of key aspects of the building. The demolition of the existing centre and construction of a replacement centre has been determined to be the most viable option moving forward.

Listening and response to feedback

The previous planning application was refused in May 2021 due to having an unacceptable impact on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). Since then the council, as the developer for the site, has been reviewing the proposals to ensure that a new application considers the requirements related to the MOL designation.

The Gurnell Community Sounding Board was formed to give community and leisure stakeholders a voice in planning the future of the site. It includes representatives from a variety of interested groups, centre users, and ward councillors. Based on the board’s feedback, it was concluded that:

  • there must be a leisure centre at the site
  • the existing building cannot be refurbished, due to the cost and lack of social and environmental benefits

Our updated vision

In February 2023, Ealing Council’s Cabinet approved the principle of bringing forward a new leisure centre, incorporating a 50-metre swimming pool alongside a new fitness studio. The council-led plans would expand the range of fitness and wellbeing facilities and create a new swimming destination for the people of the borough. Under the new plan, the new leisure centre would see the range of fitness and wellbeing facilities significantly expanded. This will ensure that it meets modern standards and is able to serve the local community for years to come. The revised proposals would also enhance open spaces around the new buildings and include mixed tenure housing, with a significant proportion of affordable homes, alongside the new leisure centre.

Latest progress

The council is progressing proposals to deliver a high quality, exemplary new leisure centre as a priority for the community. It will provide a range of facilities including a modern swimming centre comprising a 50-metre pool, family-friendly swimming amenities and a fitness centre.

Our wider masterplan aims to enhance and improve the surrounding green spaces and outdoor areas, ensuring that visitors of all ages have access to a variety of external amenities, from a café and terrace to pump track, outdoor gym, picnic areas and more.

We are currently introducing our pre-planning proposals for the leisure centre to the community and progressing them with the sounding board, before submitting a formal planning application later in the year.