Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:43 pm
Plans to close a town's outdoor pool, which have been opposed by campaigners, have been given the go-ahead
A new all-year-round family pool beside an existing inside pool is being planned in Kenilworth, following the Warwick District Council vote.
The town has had an outdoor pool at Abbey Fields for 123 years and closure would mark the end of an era, a campaign group has said.
There were "Shame on you" shouts from the public gallery after the decision.
Campaigners said a meeting would take place on Saturday.
The planned family pool had "the potential to be opened up in the summer months to give direct access to an outside terrace" and would help to meet "the substantial demand locally for more swimming lessons", the council said.
Abbey Fields' outdoor pool will shut permanently after the vote by the authority's executive on Wednesday.
The green light was given to further design work on plans to extend Kenilworth's leisure facilities, including building a new leisure centre with a six-court sports hall and gym on the site of the Castle Farm Recreation Centre.
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:23 pm
Restore Kenilworth Lido campaign continues to gather momentum
Campaign group Restore Kenilworth Lido has now taken action to seek a legal opinion on the decision making process of Warwick District Council in regard to its plans to replace the town’s open air swimming pool with an indoor facility.
The group has said that it believes the consultation process resulting in the decision to close outdoor pool in Abbey Fields from September 2019 was “fundamentally flawed”.
And members have launched an online crowdfunding campaign on the crowdjustice.com website to raise money to pay for the legal challenge.
While “wholeheartedly” supporting plans to refurbish the current indoor pool, campaigners want the council to consider building a “25-metre heated outdoor pool, open all year round with special events for sports enthusiasts and families, a training site for triathletes and a venue for unique cultural events.”
The group has said: “This would be a brilliant amenity for people of all ages in Kenilworth and across the Midlands now and for future generations.
“Detailed plans have been drawn up by a local architect that show this is possible but this option was never put to the people of Kenilworth.
“Our only course of action now is to seek legal review of the decision.
“We have been advised that the way that the consultation was conducted may have been unlawful.
“We are seeking your support to obtain an opinion from a QC to confirm this.
“Without this information, we do not know if we can pursue legal action and we are left with a decision that does not represent the views of the people of Kenilworth - that may well be based on inaccurate information - and the loss of a historic and unique amenity forever.”
The campaigners are aiming to raise £2,500 to cover the costs of a solicitor instructing a QC to provide an opinion on whether there are legal grounds to challenge the decision.
So far, more than £1,400 has been donated towards this.
Group members have also gathered 3,800 signatures online and 600 on paper in favour of retaining outdoor swimming in Kenilworth, formally asked the council to pause its decision in order to look further into the feasibility of retaining the outdoor pool and helped 1,000 Kenilworth residents send postcards to councillors asking for the pool to be saved.
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:48 pm
Artists called to create vision for Kenilworth Lido campaign
ARTIST Karen Pittaway has used her skills with a paintbrush to show her support for the Kenilworth Lido campaign.
The town-based artist has created her own vision of what a new Abbey Fields outdoor pool could look like.
And the Restore Kenilworth Lido (RKL) campaign group hope it will inspire young and old alike within the community to submit their own ideas for an outdoor swimming as part of its Vision for Kenilworth Lido initiative which runs until April 30.
Campaign spokesperson Martin Seaton said: “It’s encouraging to see so many people are recognising the potential that the lido option has to offer.
“It’s not difficult to imagine what it could be, when you look at other successful lidos such as Stratford Park in Stroud, Cheltenham, Banbury and Droitwich, and talk to people who enjoy the many benefits of outdoor swimming.”
RKL want to see the existing outdoor fun shaped pool in Abbey Fields replaced with a heated lido which could be used all year round.
But Warwick District Council approved design work on proposals in January to build a new indoor pool as part of a major overhaul of both the swimming pool and Castle Farm Recreation Centre in the town – at a cost of up to £24million.
The council say an indoor pool would meet the ‘substantial demand’ locally for more swimming lessons and during the summer could be ‘opened up’ onto an adjoining new terrace.
Businesses backing the lido campaign include Kenilworth Books, David Lee Solicitors, The Tree House Bookshop, Kenilworth Arts Festival, The Orangery, Grounds Farm, Pansy Potter, Antigo, The Farthing Gallery, Warren’s Bakery, Coventry BID, Talisman Office Services, Cory Barrett Design Consultant and Castle Mortgages. Nationally The Outdoor Swimming Society and the British Triathlon Federation.
Visit http://www.restorekenilworthlido.org.uk for more on the campaign, and details of how to submit a Vision for Kenilworth Lido.
Thu May 30, 2019 6:56 pm
Call for re-think on Kenilworth lido axe - amid claim just 14 swimmers could use new pool
CAMPAIGNERS say a proposed swimming pool in Kenilworth is not up to scratch and would fit just 14 swimmers in.
The new £9million indoor pool is set to replace the current outdoor pool at Abbey Fields as part of a revamp of the leisure centre by Warwick District Council.
But campaigners from Restore Kenilworth Lido say such a small number of swimmers would make the pool crowded and the development would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.
To showcase the size, the team spread out tarpaulin measuring the same as the 15 x 8 metre planned pool and invited people to take a ‘dip’.
A campaign group spokeswoman said: “The new indoor pool is considerably shorter than a tennis court and, with 14 people in the pool, swimming would be far from fun – more like a dodgems arcade.
“A second indoor pool is really not good use of up to £9million of taxpayer’s money and the council need to halt any further action and look at the feasibility of the lido option.
“The group’s vision is of a re-furbished indoor pool complemented by a 25m heated outdoor pool.”
But Warwick District Council says the new pool will be ‘ideal’ for the activities it has planned.
There are also plans to revamp the town’s Castle Farm Recreation Centre with a six court sports hall, 80 station gym and two fitness studios.
Depending on final designs the cost for both projects could be up to £24million.
Thu May 30, 2019 9:09 pm
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:32 pm
Kenilworth lido: Designs for replacement pool revealed
Designs for an indoor pool to replace a lido have been revealed to the "disappointment" of campaigners.
Warwick District Council has published artist's impressions for the new Abbey Fields pool in Kenilworth which it says will "cater for all the community".
They show a 15m indoor pool at the existing leisure centre, as well as an adjoining sun terrace and cafe.
The decision to close the outdoor pool was made in January, but put on hold following local elections in May.
Campaigners previously said there had been an outdoor pool at Abbey Fields for 123 years.
Speaking on Tuesday, a spokesman for Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group said members were "surprised and deeply disappointed to discover that the proposal does not include any provision whatsoever for outdoor swimming on the current site".
He said members were also "most concerned" they were not given "the opportunity to fully engage with the council about its revised proposal... despite the promises made following the recent election".
May's elections saw the Greens take all three seats from the Conservatives in the Kenilworth Park Hill ward including that of council leader Andrew Mobbs.
Reasons for not directly replacing the outdoor pool include the cost of heating it and the extra carbon emissions.
In its latest report, the council says the new indoor pool would instead "open up to the outdoors in the summer through a wall of bi-fold doors".
The report also recommends moving ahead with plans for a new Castle Farm leisure centre.
Proposals are expected to go before the council's executive later this month with a further public consultation scheduled for October.