Swimming pool plans ‘not up to expectations’

By Desmond Pugh in Planning

THE proposed plans for the new pool at Monmouth Leisure Centre ran into some opposition at Monday night’s town council planning meeting (13th March).

Following the demolition of the town pool last year, plans to provide a replacement have proved frustrating.

A change in finances has meant that the original plans to replace the facility have been altered and now the idea is to convert the present gymnasium at the leisure centre into a pool, with gym facilities now being built within the new school footprint.

This was the cause for some concern with town councillors as they felt that the new plans were not ideal for a community pool, and no indication was given over the arrangements for a shared gymnasium between the school and the community.

Councillor Chris Munslow said he was “not confident” with the plans, with seemingly little thought and planning for a pool open to the public.

Cllr Jane Gunter said that “it was not up to expectations” and just seemed to be an attempt to placate the public after the promises of providing a pool. Cllr Mat Feakins said that there was no indication about sharing the school’s sports hall now the well-used gym facility would be lost to the public.

It was decided to defer the plans to await for more information, specifically the width of the pool, which although was shown to be five lanes on the plans, no indication of the width of the lanes was shown.

National recommendations were that lanes should be 2.5 metres, but chair of planning, Cllr Stuart Wilson said that Monmouthshire County Council seem to favour two metre lanes, effectively making this a four lane pool.

They wanted to see more provision for seating for parents and the public for viewing pool competitions and galas, and concern over access from the changing room to poolside seemed to have not be addressed. More information about sharing the gym facility was required.

Cllr Feakins summed up feeling by pointing out this was “a once in a generational time to get it right for the community”.

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