The approved plans replaced a previous scheme that would have involved demolition of the existing building - an idea that met with fierce local resistance.
A Lewisham Council press release confirms:
A new 2-pool leisure and fitness centre, to replace Forest Hill Pools on Dartmouth Road, was approved by Lewisham Council Planning Committee on 22 July 2010.
The facility is Lewisham’s fourth new leisure centre development to be approved in recent years. A new leisure complex was opened in Downham in 2007, and an additional 25-metre pool was opened at Wavelengths Leisure Centre in Deptford in 2008. A third leisure centre is currently being built in Lewisham Town Centre to replace the leisure facility at Ladywell.
A building contractor for the development is expected to be appointed before the end of the year and the Council aims to have the new leisure centre in public use by late-2012.
This new planning application for Forest Hill allows for the alteration, part demolition and refurbishment of the existing Forest Hill Pools building to provide a new pool and leisure centre behind the existing Victorian frontage which will be retained. The existing frontage will be refurbished to form the main entrance and reception to the building as well as providing a changing area on the first floor.
The majority of the facilities will be provided in the proposed modern additions. Facilities in the new building will include a 25-metre pool, a 16.7-metre learner pool, fitness gym, 2 studios, community room and a café. The new development will include facilities and access for those people with disabilities.
There will be disabled parking, bicycle and motorcycle parking and a drop-off area for vehicles. A new “pocket park” is also to be landscaped around the new building and extended along Dartmouth Road to provide a public open space.