Basingstoke's leisure park is unlikely to see the large-scale redevelopment previously planned, the council has conceded, after plans for £300 million of private investment in the facility were deemed unviable.

NewRiver Retail were due to redevelop the complex into a designer retail village and a host of new leisure facilities, but they pulled out of the scheme earlier this week.

There are now big question marks over the future of Basingstoke's leisure park, with Cllr John Izett, the cabinet member responsible for major projects, admitting to councillors work there would be "more organic and gradual".

Cllr Izett added that work is underway to develop proposals for the future of the leisure park, including on how they are funded.

He said: "The end of the development agreement allows the council to consider the most appropriate leisure offer for Basingstoke alongside the evolving town centre strategy and the local plan update.

"We are looking at options to develop proposals for the future of the park and how we fund them without the £300 million private investment. This action needs to move forward at pace and is already under way.

"Work has begun on the options which it is anticipated will be developed over the course of the coming months, consulting with councillors, existing leisure park operators, leisure park users, our residents and specialists in the leisure industry on the best way forward."

The leisure park is home to dozens of businesses, including Milestones Museum, iFly, Odeon, Hollywood Bowl and restaurants including KFC and McDonalds.

Among the facilities are two of great note to the town - the Aquadrome and Planet Ice.

The Aquadrome, owned by the council, would have been replaced in the redevelopment without the need for public money to be spent on it. But as a result of delays brought about by the legal challenge and the Covid pandemic, the council are funding maintenance work.

"We are now considering how we will renew or replace this popular facility, and how we will fund that," Cllr Izett continued. "Owing to the delay in bringing forward the project and demand changes post-pandemic, the council is already investing in Basingstoke Aquadrome.

"We are carrying out maintenance work to ensure that it will continue to provide leisure facilities, while we take stock of future plans for the facility."

He added that the ice rink is not a council facility, and that current landlord Standard Securities and operator Planet Ice have leases on the building that require them to keep it in ‘good and substantial’ repair.

As previously reported, BDBC can take legal action to enforce this. Planet Ice chief operating officer, Heath Rhodes, called for certainty on the future of the ice rink back in August, saying investing in the rink whilst there is uncertainty over whether the ice rink would be a part of the future leisure park plans would be a risk.

But Cllr Izett said they've "made it clear that it would stay in place".

"We are talking to Planet Ice and Standard Securities to seek to secure the ice rink’s future," he said.

“The uncertainty about the redevelopment plans has been cited as a reason why the operator has not invested in it, even though we had made it clear that it would stay in place.

"There should be nothing to stop Planet Ice carrying out the repairs needed to give the ice rink a secure future.

"We are currently undertaking a survey to assess the condition of the ice rink and understand the full extent of the repair work needed before considering whether to take legal action.

"The report is expected at the end of the month and, once officers have had the chance to review it, a report on our next steps will come back to the Community, Environment and Partnerships Committee in December.”