Forest Hill Pools reopen

Just in time for the temporary closure of Deptford's Wavelengths pool, Lewisham Council reports the fantastic news that Forest Hill Pools (Dartmouth Road) have been reopened:

Several years of hard work and dedicated campaigning by local stakeholders has finally come to fruition and Forest Hill Pools have now been reopened. After a series of public consultations, construction commenced in February 2011 and the costs for redeveloping the site amount to £8.9m.

Facilities now include:

·         25m length swimming pool
·         16.7m length learner pool
·         state-of-the-art fitness suite
·         two studios and a cafĂ© area
·         community room for hire
·         spectator viewing and exhibition area

This new facility, which is fully accessible, including parking for people with disabilities, and the architects, Roberts Limbrick, have worked to make the pools as eco-friendly and energy-efficient as possible.

The Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, marked the occasion by taking a plunge in the new pool.   He said:  “This is a very exciting day for Lewisham.  I am thrilled to be here today in Forest Hill at yet another fantastic new facility for the borough.  It’s a real tribute to the hard work and energy of everybody involved.”

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Chris Best, "The significance of the occasion comes from the aspirations of the many local people who have worked so hard to see this building saved and now re-developed.”

“I am absolutely delighted to see the wonderful job that has been done redeveloping the pools to modern standards, while retaining features like the historic Victorian frontage.”

“This is a striking development but perhaps its most important dimension is that it’s the result of joint working between local stakeholders and the Council to achieve a shared goal. Willmott- Dixon has carried out a magnificent job in delivering this project on schedule and providing a sustainable future for such a well-loved local building that will benefit the community for many years to come."

Opening hours are:  Monday-Friday, 7am-10pm and Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holidays 7am-6pm.

Residents will have the opportunity to tour the facilities and try out some of the activities available at Forest Hill Pools as part of the ‘Forest Hill celebrates’ event on 22 September.

46 comments:

Paul clements said...

Was there today. Lovely space, staff either overwhelmed by queues or underworked, and the showers were a joke.

Anonymous said...

Why was Bullock allowed to pollute the waters, considering he spent years trying to get the place demolished?

Anonymous said...

The second I read this article I knew it would have a Councillor bashing post, and lo and behold there it is. Can't an existing Councillor be allowed to open a large project in the area, even if he didn't originally agree with it (and maybe still doesn't)? Most people on here seem to think they should be not seen and not heard.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon1807 - agreed, it's a Mayor's job to turn up for these things. We have a great new pool, who cares what nearly, but didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

er - where is it exactly?

Anonymous said...

Street address and map linked to from the article

Brockley Nick said...

To be fair, I only just added those in response to that query.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nick!

max said...

Very good, Ladywell is getting very crowded recently, probably the Olympics moving people to do some sport, at this point in time some extra capacity is absolutely essential or people will drop out.

Brockley Nick said...

@Max - yes I went to Ladywell last weekend. It was pretty crowded, especially once they shut the learner pool.

max said...

I've been one of nine sharing the same lane recently!
About a year ago there was statistical evidence that fewer people were swimming compared to a few years ago but that those fewer were more constant.
I'm pretty sure that things have quickly changed since.

Giles said...

@Brockley Nick

Who's cares? I do, because it's rank hypocrisy. He turns up to claim to glory in a PR opportunity that's like something out of The Thick Of It. Embarrassing.

Brockley Nick said...

It's not rank hypocrisy, I know they messed around for a long time, but they did end up funding it. And now they're promoting it, so that it gets well-used.

Tamsin said...

It would be worse if he didn't turn up. He would then be accused of bearing grudges and being ungracious. Those who know can just be amused by the irony, like that famous shot of Beeching at the opening of a heritage railway and being caught on the hop by the journalist asking why he had closed it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

What were his grounds for opposing one of the best things to happen in Forest Hill in a long time can anyone tell me?

Matt-Z said...

Regarding capacity, the new pool at Loampit Vale is due to open next year, but as a replacement for Ladywell Pool. Shiny new facilities tend to generate demand and interest, so it's likely that there will be high demand for both Loampit Vale and Forest Hill.

What chance is there of Ladywell staying open (and getting some money spend on it to tidy it up). Are people campaigning for this?

Anonymous said...

Downham: Roof collapsed, replacement pool delayed for years, eventually built fot an additional £1m paid to consultants.

Ladywell: Mayor claimed to have spent millions on upgrading it, which was not correct.

Loampit Vale: Mayor said it would have 2 full sized pools, but it was known it was impossible due to the size of the site.

Forest Hill: Despite the council saying they'd carried out the required works, it closed a few years later. Angry surveyor's reveals Council had not carried out the required repairs to the roof.

Crossways: Mayor rushed through plans, within 10 years of construction closed.

New School: Described by the Mayor as urgently required by 2006, finally opens 6 years late due to the Mayor.

Lewisham Gateway: Dead as a dodo.

The current elected Mayor was a prominent councillor in the 1980's and 90's and was leader of the council.

Much of what has needed rectifying was a result of decisions made in the 1990's and 80's.

At Forest Hill if as stated the local community challenged the Mayor, maybe he could have taken a backseat and let others bathe in the glory of the new pool?


Anonymous said...

Oh almost forgot...at Loampit Vale the agreement by the council with the developer was 'you can build x number of homes and in return invest £20m constructing a leisure centre.

By coincidence when the Catford Dog track scheme collapsed, the government stepped in to kick start the Loampit development with....£20m.

Anonymous said...

Also....the use of the word 'sustainable' that is s000o last decade.

Has a council ever announced it built something to be 'unsustainable'?

Anonymous said...

Conservative councillor has defected to Labour.

No surprise Mayor dives into Forest Hill, where there are two Lib Dems, for a photo opportunity?

max said...

Yes, political contorsions are always amusing but to the point, finally there are 5 working pools in the borough and that's good, but now with atttendence increasing and population growing one wonders if that's enough so questions about the wisdom of replacing Ladywell instead of adding a new pool are actually rather valid.

Anonymous said...

The closure of Ladywell pool will be very sad for the area. Surely they can refurbish it properly once the Loampit vale one opens rather than close it completely. Does anyone know if this is being considered? It's quite some distance from Ladywell to Loampit vale for those without a car. I know that there are buses, but it would be nice to gain an additional sports centre rather than lose one and have it move to a new area.

Anonymous said...

Typical Londoners. 3 swimming pools in the area and a crisis when one of them closes.

When I was a kid it was all about when my parents could be arsed to take me several miles in the car to the one swimming pool in the county.

Anonymous said...

Nick, can anyone on here voice their opinion without you chipping back telling them that their opinion is wrong? If Giles, thinks it's hypocrisy(which I agree with by the way) he doesn't need you to convince him otherwise.

Calm down dear said...

Why chip back? Infant, why not chip back. if there were no discussion or disagreement it would be a closed forum. nicks opinion isn't "the truth" his opinion is as valid as yours. Some of the arguments are structured badly but that's the posters fault.

As for "rank hipocrisy" commenting on a reply to a comment supporting one of the comments is just the thing you complain about. That's rank irony.

The comments section is a little anarchic but it's at least interesting and OCCASIONALLY there is some light amongst the heat.

Lighten up peeps said...

@Anonymous 13.24

Is Nick allowed hi own opinion as to whether it is or isn't hypocrisy?

For the record I agree with you but Mr Blog is allowed his say too...

Anonymous said...

Nick is allowed to have an opinion - that's not what I said. What I was highlighting was Nick's perpetual habit of telling people that their opinion is wrong. Or do you not understand the difference?

Amazed it needs explaining but here we go... said...

"When I was a kid it was all about when my parents could be arsed to take me several miles in the car to the one swimming pool in the county."

Yes, you see there are a just a few more million people here in London so that's why we need more things. You might also notice a lot more shops or pubs or garages here than in a village - for the same reason.

max said...

"When I was a kid it was all about when my parents could be arsed to take me several miles in the car to the one swimming pool in the county."


Ah, the good old days...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

Don said...

It's because Nick is drunk on power and his ego has it's own gravitation field.

Lighten Up Peeps said...

@anon 14.05

I think you are easily offended:

Contrary to your post, he didn't tell Giles that he was wrong (though it was implied) but so what if he had?

Nick had a differing opinion to Giles and so he told Giles what it was.

Brockley Central comments are like a lively debate in a local pub. Everyone is entitled to state their opinion but should expect to be challenged by those who may disagree.

I Look forward to your response, even if you disagree.

Throws toys out of pram said...

....except where he say "I agree" so not perpetually disagreeing. unless he disagrees.

The thread is open for you to put your case so put the case rather than whining when you fail to make your point.

Anonymous said...

anyone been? eco-friendly is all well and good - as long as the locals keep it clean and hygenic. is it??

Anonymous said...

Lighten up your peeps, I don’t want to bore everyone in the blog with details(probably too late for that) BUT:

Nick did tell him he’s opinion was wrong. Giles said it was rank hypocrisy. Nick then responded saying that it was not rank hypocrisy. In my interpretation of the English language, that is Nick telling Giles he is wrong.

I didn’t realise Nick had so many groupies on this blog.

Brockley Nick said...

This blog is a conversation. Sometimes I agree with people and say so. Sometimes I disagree with people and say so. Sometimes I don't have any opinion. Sometimes I have an opinion and don't give it. When I do disagree with someone, I try to give reasons. I invite everyone to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I give up! Nick, you're right and Giles is wrong.

Brockley Dogging Society - AGM said...

Nick @18:39 17/9/12

"Anon1807 - agreed"

So Nick doesnt "perpetually disagree"

Case dismissed.

Item 2 on the agenda. Discussion on Para-Dogging as proposed by Colin who tragically lost the tip after strimming his garden naked last weekend.

Anonymous said...

what you and Nick do in your spare time is none of my business

max said...

Anyway, looking at this picture there's one considerations on pools in Lewisham that springs to my mind.
Both Forest Hill pool and Downham pool are smaller than their predecessors.
I can't understand why they insist on building them all to the minimum specifications. Why always 6 lanes when with 8 lanes you can accommodate a lot more people and activities for nearly the same cost.
To get them to agree to build Loampit Vale 8 lanes instead of 6 it was a bloody battle.
(and 25 m is short, I know, it's standard measure but it's still short)

Anonymous said...

When is the loampit one opening and can anyone go any time, or jut residents any time? Thank you

max said...

I don't know exactly when it opens. In a few months time when it's finished is the best answer, but it's going to be a fully public pool, only with a block of flats built on top.

Mary Ellen said...

I grew up in a town which was so boring the local swimming pool featured pride of place on its postcard. I just think myself lucky to be living in Lewisham, and not North Wales.

Swimfan said...

I'm a penioner who lives near Lewisham station and use the Ladywell Pool twice a week. The ForestHill one is a good move, but too far away for me. I don't want to travel an hour for a half hour swim. Ladywell is so run down I can't wait for the Loampit Vale to open. My fear is that given the housing density it's going to be overcrowded.

max said...

I must put on my cap as defender of Ladywell Pool.
What exactly is run down? Please explain.
Since the change of management it is kept perfecly clean and the water in the pool is absolutely fine. Clean transparent and at the right temperature.
The generous size of the pool makes swimming a joy. It's light and airy and it's not really long that's beeen redecorated.
On top the water pump of the pool was changed in 2004, so fairly modern.

There are two other pools I use regularly, one is Downham pool that despite being new is nowhere near as good as Ladywell by pretty much any criteria.
The other pool I use regularly is in Italy and is a state of the art 50m pool built for the 2004 European Championship. It's very good but I still prefer Ladywell Pool because 33m in my opinion is just perfect.

I'm really sad for the quality of swimming we're about to lose when Ladywell close. We'll have a new pool that will be 25m long and 2m deep, that's what I call bog standard. We now have one that's 33m long and 3.8 deep and we must kiss it bye bye. Thanks to the arrogance of some sad beaurocrat at Lewisham Town Hall.

Chrissy said...

This is great news. I was considering having someone install a hot tub for the winter in my garden, because I was ready to give up on public pools! I'll take your guys word for it and check it out.

owen1 said...

what is the gym like? what weight do the free weights go up to?

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