City council leader Colin Glover says plans for a £19m revamp of Carlisle’s Sands Centre will continue to be pursued.

A meeting of the full city council this week passed a motion that the authority should look at alternative sites amid fears over flooding.

It was approved in an 18-17 vote, with prominent Conservative councillor Gareth Ellis saying he would be willing to see an entirely new facility built on the outskirts of the city rather than overhauling the Sands if the risk was deemed to be too great.

He said: “I’m pleased that the council has endorsed the concerns of myself and the Flood Action Group because they didn’t seem to be listening to what we were trying to say.

“This is such a large undertaking. The site has flooded twice in 10 years. It hasn’t been one of the worst sites [for flooding] but to say it’s ‘not an unacceptable risk’ seems a bit strange.

“It might be great putting the site there. We certainly need a new municipal swimming pool – the one we have got has been patched up – but that doesn’t mean it has to be there.”

Members of Carlisle Flood Action Group have raised concerns that the development would add to flood risk in the area.

But the Environment Agency has not raised any concerns as part of the planning process.

Mr Glover, who urged politicians not to heighten flood fears, said: “The planning application will go forward as planned on November 23 to be considered.

“If the Environment Agency had said it was a bad idea we would review that. But they are not.”

He added: “There 107 documents with the planning application that give the background. If councillors had read these documents, they would get the answers.”

Meanwhile, Mr Ellis stressed that he wanted the existing process to continue.

“I don’t want to half the proceedings because that starts adding costs but equally we need to make sure we are making the right decision,” he added.

It emerged at this week’s meeting that the council had explored 11 sites as part of the planning process.

Applications for cash support to help fund the planned overhaul are currently being prepared for Sport