A legal challenge has been launched to block the Napier City Council plans to build a new swimming pool and gymnasium complex on the western fringes of the city at a cost of more than $44 million.

The challenge was launched on Wednesday with the filing of papers in the High Court applying for an injunction to suspend the tendering process begun by the council after the narrowest of decisions last month gave the go-ahead for the project on a block of land cornered by Prebensen and Tamatea Drives.

The decision, carried 7-6 with the casting vote of acting mayor

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