LONG-AWAITED answers on apparent shortcomings in plans for an £18m new leisure have been released.

Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member Charlotte Dickson issued her response to a series of complaints from council alderman Joyce Hutchinson over the new Wantage facility.

Mrs Hutchinson had started by asking why, when Abingdon’s 8,892sq m White Horse Tennis and Leisure Centre was built in 2011 for a population of 36,000, the centre being planned for Wantage and Grove was about half the size – 4,646sq m – despite the population being forecast to grow to 34,000 in the next 15 years.

Mrs Dickson said: "The concept design has been informed by leisure needs analysis based on current and future population growth projections. The design also considers a number of factors including the size of facilities required, parking and active design features."

She also said there were 'a number of constraints in relation to the ecological assessment'.

Asked why the council had not applied for grant funding towards the new centre, Mrs Dickson said: "It is not always possible to align the aims and objectives of the project with the different grant awarding bodies."