Ex­cit­ing new vi­sion for lido could still be a re­al­ity

Re­vised plan in­cludes splash pad and ad­ven­ture golf

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - FRONT PAGE -

Rush­moor Bor­ough Coun­cil will con­sider re­vised pro­pos­als for the lido, which dates back to the 1930s and was used for the modern pen­tathlon in the 1948 Olympic Games, at a date yet to be con­firmed.

It is hoped the sec­ond de­sign will sat­isfy crit­ics of the first plan, which was brought to the ta­ble in Oc­to­ber 2013.

The pro­posed makeover in­cludes a large heated out­door pool, more wa­ter flumes, a ‘ splash pad’ for chil­dren and an all- year ad­ven­ture golf fa­cil­ity.

Also on the cards is re­plac­ing the in­door pools with a new one as well as a train­ing pool, gym, dance stu­dio and café.

If agreed, the re­gen­er­a­tion will make the lido more fam­ily- friendly and ap­peal to a wider au­di­ence by en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to take part in a range of ac­tiv­i­ties.

Coun­cil­lor Bruce Thomas, chair­man of the coun­cil’s lido re­view work­ing group, pre­dicts the plans will be a suc­cess.

“This is an ex­cit­ing time for Alder­shot and if af­ford­able, we think these new fa­cil­i­ties will be pop­u­lar with our res­i­dents and vis­i­tors,” he said.

“We recog­nise that we need to im­prove the lido to in­crease us­age and re­duce the sub­sidy.”

The project should ad­dress con­cerns raised over the lido’s sus­tain­abil­ity – be­tween 2014 and 2015, the out­door pool had a whop­ping 10,000 re­duc­tion in at­ten­dances.

Pre­vi­ous op­po­si­tion to the plans has died down fol­low­ing a res­i­dents’ ques­tion­naire last sum­mer and it is hoped the re­vised pro­posal will ad­dress con­cerns.

Justin Coll, head of the Alder­shot Civic So­ci­ety, told said: “It seems that the coun­cil has lis­tened to our con­cerns and ques­tions.

“Peo­ple asked for a cafe, which is now in­cluded in the plans.

“There were also con­cerns over the shape of the pool and sus­tain­abil­ity of the out­door pool but the heated pool will mean peo­ple can use it through­out the year.”

The re­vised pro­posal also in­cor­po­rates a splash pad within the ex­ist­ing pool struc­ture, rather than re­plac­ing a pool, which was also a cause of con­cern among res­i­dents.

Mem­bers of the Friends of Alder­shot Lido ( FOAL) have raised con­cerns over the re­vamp in the past.

Fol­low­ing the first pro­posal in 2015, Cllr Alex Craw­ford warned the coun­cil risked di­vid­ing Alder­shot and Rush­moor if it failed to lis­ten to res­i­dents.

How­ever, he has since said he sup­ports the pro­pos­als, adding: “FOAL is sup­port­ing the pro­posal and we are work­ing with the lido re­view group to bring this vi­sion for­ward.”

But not all crit­ics are en- tirely con­vinced.

Mr Coll said: “We are still con­cerned that the golf course will re­place the green space peo­ple en­joy sit­ting the sum­mer.

“We need more de­tailed plans for the Civic So­ci­ety to fully sup­port it.” on dur­ing

The coun­cil has given an as­sur­ance that all fi­nan­cial op­tions, costs and vi­a­bil­ity will be ex­plored be­fore the plans go ahead.

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