Plans to replace Splash with conventional pool spark backlash
PUBLISHED: 10:03 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 25 August 2018
Fans of the unusual ‘beach-style’ facilities at an aging north Norfolk swimming pool have slammed a council’s plans to replace it with a more conventional facility.
North Norfolk District Council wants to build a £10.7 million leisure centre in Sheringham to replace Splash, which opened in the town in 1988 featuring a wave machine, slide and shallow end which mimics a beach.
But users of the current facility have urged the council to revise its plans, which include a six-lane 25-metre pool, a learner pool and multi-purpose studios, but lack the features they have come to love.
MORE: Reader letter: The council’s plans to replace Splash will backfire
Among them is Samantha Green, from Norwich, who said she was “very sad” about the proposed design.
She said: “Me and my partner took our six-year-old son last week and I was talking of making it tradition as my late mother did with me and we enjoy making a whole day of it - the beach, the town, we love it all. This will be so sad for me and future generations. I do not want splash do be a distant memory. Maybe they can just refurbish the pool and add more fun.”
And Chris Pope said Splash drew visitors from far and wide, as should its replacement. He said: “Splash offers something a bit extra with the beach layout. The council should think long and hard before committing to a solely local solution.”
But the council said slides and a wave machine at the new centre would cost too much to install and maintain.
A spokesman said: “This has been confirmed as part of our leisure contractor procurement as well where we have found that these costs would not be recovered.”
However, the spokesman said the new centre would have a “colourful splash pad and learner pool for children to enjoy and where they can improve their confidence in the water.”
MORE: Plans for £10.7m pool and sports centre take a leap forward
He said: “In addition, the leisure market has moved a long way since the 1980s to either huge water parks with large, fixed infrastructure; or mixed use municipal pools. These cater for both those who wish to just swim and the ‘play’ market.”
The council has also said a conventional swimming pool, rather than a leisure pool, was needed in order to secure Sport England funding for the project.
It said Splash, which costs £150,000 a year to run, will be demolished.
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