Forest Hill pool rebirth

Mayor Bullock has abandoned plans to build a swimming pool on a new site in Forest Hill, choosing instead to create a new facility on the site of the existing Forest Hill Pool. The project will ensure that the historic facade is retained and that swimming facilities are restored to the area as quickly as possible.

At a meeting last night, the Mayor and cabinet considered the results of the consultation and opted for the existing site on the basis that it minimised the risk of delay and should ensure a new swimming pool by 2012.

The project will involve some death masking - retaining the frontage of the building but redeveloping the rest of the site, to create two new pools. On his website, Mayor Bullock writes:

"In the present circumstances of uncertainty about the funding of future public services across the country I was minded to take a decision that had the lowest possible level of risk attached to it. The Willow Way option was the best financially and had significant support in the consultation. However there was a greater degree of risk involved in achieving planning agreement for a development on that site as there is no previous leisure use. The Dartmouth Road site offers very few planning issues but requires an additional capital sum.

"In the interest of moving quickly and with as much certainty as possible to get swimming going again in Forest Hill in decided to increase yet again the sum allocated in order to proceed immediately with a new facility on the Dartmouth Road site."

The decision follows an extremely active campaign in the local area to save Forest Hill Pool and the result has been welcomed by the Forest Hill Society.

Slowly, but surely, Lewisham is reducing its leisure facilities deficit.

51 comments:

Hugh said...

Does anyone else find the Olympics-driven attempt to bring certain sports to the masses rather odd? Swimming is a no-brainer anyway for accessibility, convenience, fun and benefits. Ditto cycling. But G. Brown needed 2012, Adlington, Hoy, Pendleton et al to convince him.

I suppose we should be grateful there are no world class British pole vaulters. But the bling-slanted ethos of Tony's Cool Brittania lingers yet.

Let's just vote these tools out.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, because other political parties dislike bandwagon-jumping.

Hugh said...

Fair shout, Nick. Can we vote out these tools anyway?

Headhunter said...

This is good news, I welcome the plan to retain some of the old architecture, it lent character to the area.

non-swimmer said...

Personally I can't understand this preoccupation with swimming that this council seems to have - that's because I hate swimming pools in every possible form they take - but let us not tarry on that point.

Cycling has been on the up for years and it was as a result of hard work (and financial backing) by the various cycling bodies that we now hold a world-class position in the cycling world.

It used to be a slightly fetishistic pastime, with elasticated, cotton clothing, leather shoes and over-eager elderly men fiddling about with your cotter pins - it's all so modern now...

But then, perhaps some men still hang around swimming pools...

Hugh said...

Stop trying to be clever-clever. You just come across as a tool.

non-swimmer said...

right, a comment from the master

hugh lite said...

Nice comment from stevie on his blog underlines his fierce desire to maintain anything of any possible architectural heritage in Lewisham:

"I can now only hope that no one tries to wreck this scheme in the same way that the listing of Louise House wrecked the previous one."

Headhunter said...

Swimming is a very effective and accessible sport. All you need is a cozzy and some water and you have very effective cardio vascular exercise for anyone. No need for expensive kit or equipment.

Swimming is accessible to young and old alike, it exercises just about every muscle group in the body and causes no jarring to joints and water supports the body.

Cycling is similar and in fact has experienced considerable decline in the past few decades. Before car ownership reached epidemic proportions, cycling was a major form of transport for many, particularly in what would have been known as the working class. Back then it was not "fetishist". Of course there have been keen cyclists for a long time and in fact many of the oldest local community clubs are cycling clubs. my club, Dulwich Paragon was established in the 1880s, Catford CC was established sometime before that I believe and there are hosts of others most of which have been around since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Cycling is certainly picking up in popularity, but in comparison to the early 20th century it remains niche.

BTW cotter pins haven't been used since the 1960s or 1970s - you're showing your age there!

non-swimmer said...

It wasn't meant to be an entirely serious contribution HH although Hugh upgraded it slightly. But then I have met some very over-friendly bicycle shop owners.

;)

musing said...

I would like to know how Olympians every manage to get good at eg pole-vaulting or, worse, ski jumping! strikes me the learning could be painful.

Also, why do I have this image of Mayor Bullock as a sort of Boss Hogg figure, albeit minus the cigar?

A said...

Worth noting by the way that the consultation - praised by everyone this time for being thorough and fair - did not produce an overwhelming majority in favour of keeping the pool where it is. The results were very evenly balanced between that and building at Willow Way. Worth remembering that those who shout loudest don't necessarily represent the majority view.

Hugh said...

Headhunter, do you ride to work in your Paragon kit? Some bloke in such garb passed me the other night coming through Nunhead. He had perfectly tanned legs that were shaven a la Tour. Was hoping we'd race up the steep side of Drakefell Road but he turned left at the bottom towards Telegraph Hill Park.

Anonymous said...

I only swim in mineral water.

Headhunter said...

I only swim in organic Champagne, so nah...

Hugh - No, I haven't actually got any DP kit. I should get some but I'm aware that I would have to be on my best behaviour because people complain to the club if they see anyone doing anything naughty.

I prefer anonymity when I'm swearing at idiot car drivers pulling out in front of me, cutting me up or opening doors in my path without looking. Anyway, I tend not to go via Nunhead. I usually leave home at the last possible moment and fly straight up the OKR without any detours. Anyway, my legs are hairy, I can barely be bothered to shave my face let along my legs.

One day I'll have to take that longer route along Drakefell and through Nunhead that you take and see if I bump into you. I can look out for that Specialized Roubaix...

Hugh said...

Not sure you'll spot it from behind.

Headhunter said...

May be not from behind, but as I pass you I'll notice!

Hugh said...

Fine words. I climb like Contador.

Anonymous said...

Excellent news Lewisham council using Its head for once

sonofagun said...

Why cant they do the same with Lewisham Bridge Primary School ?

Headhunter said...

He he, no wonder yuo've got "buns of steel" then, Hugh. I climb Pepys Rd at the end of every day, as fast as I can with my fairly crappy Halfords commuter bike and a 5-10kg rucksack. I wonder which is steeper, Pepys or Drakefell...

Anonymous said...

I just shift her down into 2nd and floor it

The Cat Man said...

Pepys by a long shot. Its tough work!

Headhunter said...

"I just shift her down into 2nd and floor it"

That's just dull. Unless you've pushed it hard up Pepys, grinding in a high gear, heart rate so high you think it'll split your sternum, sweat gushing from every pore, I'm not interested.

a lady said...

HH and Hugh - if you swapped email addresses you could have these conversations without the rest of us eavesdropping! Not that I'm averse to any conversation involving references to "buns of steel"....

Headhunter said...

Hugh has resisted all attempts to meet me! He remains a man of mystery. The only way I think I'll ever meet him is if I change my route to the Drakefell side of Mount Brockley/Telegraph Hill for the morning commute.

As long as you don't mind the references to buns of steel, where's the harm? I think Cat Man is enjoying it...

The Cat Man said...

*no comment*

david said...

Pepys - pah

It's Jerningham you want to try.

Headhunter said...

TBH Jerningham never seems as bad. I go up Jerningham with shopping from Sainsbury's sometimes. It feels more gradual.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but, this was the mayor who managed to allow a swimming pool burn down at Ladywell.

There is a way save on this consultation stuff and that's by not putting forward a single proposal, as witnessed at Playtower Site, Ladywell which has been vaccant for the past 5 years.

I thought an elected Mayor was supposed to provide a strong vision for the borough, with quick decison making to spur progress.

Lewisham Gateway...at least 5 years behind schedule and not started.

Loampit Pool: Delayed and on hold.

New Secondary School: Urgently required in 2006 and not one brick layed or site confirmed.

The Cat Man said...

So, back to buns of steel....

...when do I get to see them ? :o)

Headhunter said...

Ask Hugh, they're his not mine!

Hugh said...

We need a Tour de France thread. Big day in the mountains this weekend. Alberto versus Lance show.

Be there.

Anonymous said...

Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond


much better

Hugh said...

Better at being old, slow and bald, for sure.

The Cat Man said...

They are both mingers, I prefer 'brad pitt' lookalike cyclers...

Headhunter said...

That's you isn't it Hugh? Come to think of it I've seen a guy looking just like Brad Pitt on my morning commute and I've often thought to myself, "well blow me down like a feather, it's Brad Pitt on a bike.."

The Cat Man said...

That was me.

Headhunter said...

So you look like Brad Pitt and you want to meet a cyclist who also looks like Brad Pitt? That's a bit narcissistic.

Hugh said...

To be fair I make Brad Pitt look a bit unfit.

Headhunter said...

Cat man's drooling....

The Cat Man said...

I love mirrors too..!

The Cat Man said...

Hugh, we should meet.

Headhunter said...

I think you've scared him off, you're being too predatory...

Anonymous said...

hallelujah! this is what everyone wanted all along!

PfkaG said...

Hugh/(HH). The cyclist up Telegraph Hill was most likely Dulwich P's president and resident 1st cat (which means he's considerably faster than Hugh), and all-round good bloke, although he could chew you up and spit you out if he thought you were trying to race him.

Hugh said...

From the way he avoided taking me on up Drakefell it was pretty obvious I would have given him a climbing lesson had he fancied it.

Touched by your blind loyalty, mind.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mayor,
Stuff Brockley please spend money elsewhere as all they interested in is putting buns on seats at lap dancing clubs.

Meanwhile over at SE23.com suggestions of underhand deals and secret handshakes.

Mayor said...

Just a couple of observations - personally I like really good old buildings and if you don't believe go and see what we've done with Forest Hill and Manor House Libraries. Second there hasn't been swimming on the Play Tower site for decades - it was replaced by the pool across the Road which is now close to the end of its useful life too and will be replaced by a brabnd new one on Loampit Vale in the not too distant future.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Le Tour is the only time I get excited about cycling.

Not an Alberto/Lance affair but more Alberto/Bradley one it would now appear, although don't discount the Schlecks yet.

What odds on a Brit being on the podium in in Paris for the first time............ever?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Oops

Trust me to open my mouth. Just checked today's result and Bradley has lost out to the Schlecks.

Let hope he can make it up in tomorrow's time trial.....

This should be on Twitter really.

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