A FLAGSHIP £7 million leisure centre is to be built with funding from the sale of a high rise block of flats.

The leisure centre, which will include a swimming pool, is proposed for the Sundermead Estate, behind Lewisham Shopping Centre, Lewisham, as part of the estate's redevelopment.

Funding has come from Lewisham Council's sale of Aragon Tower, on the Pepys Estate, Deptford, for £10.5 million to private developers Berkeley Homes.

The sale of the 26-storey riverside block of 144 flats will also help fund £4 million of affordable housing on the Pepys Estate or the surrounding area.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Gavin Moore said: "The money from the sale of Aragon Tower to Berkeley Homes will be used for the benefit of the community including new affordable housing and other facilities such as sports and leisure.

"The council wants to bring a leisure facility into central Lewisham and the area being occupied by the Sundermead Estate is being looked at as a possible option.

"We are consulting with local community groups and will continue to do so throughout the process."

Sundermead Estate has been allocated £50 million of Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) funding to be spent over five years on redevelopment.

The council received £1,050,000 as a deposit on Aragon Tower on October 25, 2002, with two further payments now due.

The last tenant of Aragon Tower, clown Les Brooks, 50, moved out, on February 14, after refusing until he was given an inflated financial settlement and another riverside flat to rent at a low price.

The block of flats is to be turned into luxury apartments with prices starting at £230,000.

Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock is expected to agree the proposals for re-using the money from the sale of Aragon Tower at a mayor and cabinet meeting at Lewisham Town Hall, Catford Road, Catford, at 6.30pm tonight.