Conservatives urge Olympic Borough to build ‘real’ swimming pool not “advanced paddling pool”

Greenwich Conservatives have joined calls for the Council to build a proper large pool with a deep end in their ‘Heart of East Greenwich’ development.

Greenwich Council, which is one of the sixth Olympic Boroughs. decided  that the new large pool would be a ‘V’ shape composed of 1 metre deep (or shallow) at both ends, and 1.5 metres deep in the middle.  This design effectively means that the swimming pool would be unsuitable for use by competitive swimming clubs, as the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) recommends a depth of 1.8 metres for swimmers to practice dives in. 

The Greenwich Swimming Club (GSC) which currently operates from the Arches Leisure Centre located near to Greenwich Town Centre has made it clear that this would mean their swimmers would not be able to practice diving.

Leader of the Conservative Group Councillor Spencer Drury raised the issue of the depth of the swimming pool at an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 4th April where he was assured that the issue was not the cost of building a deeper pool but the way the Council intended that it be used.  Spencer raised the possibility of a retractable floor but was informed that while this had been considered at an early stage the technology was not thought to be good enough for it to be considered a viable option.  However Spencer has subsequently found out that the Corby International Pool in the East Midlands has been built using this technology.

Spencer said “I feel that building a new swimming pool in an Olympic borough without the facility for it to be used by a competitive swimming club is ridiculous.  There has been a swimming club in Greenwich Town Centre for years but after this change, the nearest place a competitive swimmer will be able to train is Eltham (or if it opens) the open-air Charlton Lido.  I fear that this design has more to do with the Council wishing to interfere in an area that it does not understand rather than improving competitive swimming facilities and performance in Greenwich.

 “As cost is not an issue and the pool will be in the basement, I think it must still be possible for the Council to adjust the design to allow for a real pool to be created in the centre of Greenwich – not just an advanced paddling pool.”