Plans for Hornfair Lido sink without trace

The Labour Council’s plans for a £10m investment in the Charlton Lido lay in tatters this week after Greenwich Conservatives Leader Spencer Drury forced them to admit in public that the development would not go ahead as planned.

Conservatives had long been sceptical about the deal with ‘Open Waters’ especially as the Council had been unable to publish a business plan, schedule of works or provide guarantees about where the £10m to refurbish the site would come from.  The collapse means that the Lido is left in the hands of a private firm (Open Waters) which holds a long-term lease but has no means of actually redeveloping the pool.  In addition, the volunteers in the swimming club which had maintained the Lido for so long have been barred from the Lido, meaning it will be increasingly hard to maintain. 

Following a substantial Conservative campaign prior to the elections in May, the Council did decide to open the Lido this summer (at a cost of £134,000 – partly because the pool had not been maintained), but it remained closed the previous summer despite a substantial petition signed by local residents. 

Leader of Greenwich Conservatives Cllr Spencer Drury said “Kidbrooke Conservatives have been had doubts about this development from the start.  In my opinion, the Council rushed into bed with this developer without checking properly whether it could indeed deliver what it said.  There is simply no point in signing over valuable community assets on a promise of everything being wonderful in the future.”

“I am particularly annoyed about the demand that the swimming club, which had done such excellent work maintaining the Lido over the years was thrown out by the Council on the pretext that work was about to start.  No work has been done and a group of volunteers have been told they are not welcome.  I do hope that the Council will move swiftly to invite those members of the club who are still interested back to the Lido as otherwise Hornfair may go the same way as Eltham Park Lido.”


“The whole Lido plan was a pipe dream which the Labour Council has been in denial about from the start.  It must act swiftly to ensure that the Lido is opened in the future and maintained to a good standard.”