Lido campaign welcomes surprising council decision to review environmental impact of new Kenilworth swimming pools

  Posted: 19.11.21 at 12:21 by The Editor

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The Kenilworth Lido Campaign has welcomed a "surprise move" by the district council to review the decision not to build the new Abbey Fields swimming pool to net zero carbon standards.

But the group's 1,200 signature strong petition calling for the plans to be completely scrapped will not be referred to Warwick District Council's cabinet.

The council's review will see a new working group will include representatives of each political party and will be lead by former portfolio holder for leisure, culture and tourism Cllr Alan Rhead.

Evidence present by Paralympic champion swimmer Malanie Barratt at the meeting said the plans dated from before WDC's declared climate emergency in 2019.

The lido group said: "Implementation of these plans would be a betrayal of WDC district-wide ambitions that all public buildings should be 'net zero by 2025'.

"Both Abbey Fields and Castle Farm are public buildings; the cost of retrofitting these complexes if changes are not made now to meet the requirements would be hugely expensive."

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Council leader Cllr Andrew Day demanded that a "robust review" be taken "from an environmental aspect" of the plans.

Whilst the lido campaign welcomed the announcement it also said the council needed a full rethink about the possibilities an outdoor lido represents.

"Whilst we cautiously welcome that WDC now recognises the inadequacies of the current plans in relation to carbon emissions, we hope the working group under Cllr Rhead will quickly realise that the addition of a modern lido in Abbey Fields will make the pledge to become net zero much easier to achieve."

Barratt told councillors that a new outdoor pool would be much more carbon friendly and considerably less expensive to build and maintain.

She also confirmed the Lido option is better for health and well-being of the community – a point confirmed by Cllr Quinney when he drew attention to the very strong feelings in Kenilworth.

Cllr Day also told Kenilworth Town Council to find a different spot for a new lido if it wanted one.

But the lido group back hit back saying: "Why build a lido on another site when the 125-year-old site is there and, in the event of a flood, would be much less costly to refurbish than two expensive indoor pools?"

And with the decision to form a working group thwarting a vote on whether the petition should be referred to cabinet, the lido group says it intends to challenge this and "continue with its aims to refurbish the lido at the existing site, which will enable WDC and Everyone Active to achieve their carbon targets".

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