Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence


Note by English Heritage


  Across Greater London some 20 public swimming pools and two public lidos are statutorily listed by the Secretary of State of being of special architectural or historic interest.

  Of these some seven pools and one lido are closed, with uncertain futures; the majority included on English Heritage's Register of Buidings at Risk in Greater London:

BrentfordClifdon Road, Brentford (L.B. Hounslow)
HaggerstonWhiston Road, Haggerston, E2 (L.B. Hackney)
Hornsey Road*Hornsey Road, Hornsey, N7/19 (L.B. Islington)
Manor PlaceManor Place, Walworth, SE (L.B. Southwark)
Marshall StreetMarshall Street, Soho, W1 (City of Westminster)
PoplarEast India Dock Road, Poplar, E14 (L.B. Tower Hamlets)
TottenhamTown Hall Approach, Tottenham, N15 (L.B. Haringey) and
Uxbridge LidoPark Road, Uxbridge (L.B. Hillingdon)

  In addition and importantly, the future of the grade II[4] listed pools complex at the National Recreation Centre at Crystal Palace (L.B. Bromley) remains uncertain.

  Of these seven pools, some have been closed as a result of cost-cutting by the relevant local authority (due to the alleged costs of repair, maintenance and operation) and not replaced, such as Marshall Street; whilst others have been closed and replaced by new "leisure" facilities located in another (but often less accessible) part of the Borough, as at Brentford.

  In addition to the case for closure based on the alleged costs of repair, maintenance and operation (as at Marshall Street), local authorities have frequently argued that the relevant pools no longer meet current public leisure needs. In a number of cases, the relevant buildings only contain one, rectangular swimming pool (with the inevitable conflict between lane-exercise-swimmers, leisure swimmers and users of diving boards); and offers no specific facilities for children, such as slides, wave-machines and "beaches", nor directly related "health" and ancillary facilities such as jacuzzis, spas, "Turkish" Baths, gymnasia or cafés. However, the areas occupied by former "slipper" baths offer scope for conversion to such ancillary purposes.

  In some cases, existing "conventional" pools have been successfully updated and enhanced as at The Pools in the Park in the Old Deer Park, Richmond, where as a result of the "listing" of the complex and strenuous and effective pressure from the local community, the local authority (the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames Council) was persuaded to set aside proposals for the demolition and redevelopment of the Civic Trust Award-swimming 1960s pools complex and to pursue instead an alternative, conservation-based scheme with a private sector partner that has retained and improved the 33m and 25m indoor pools and the 25m outdoor pool, and supplemented the original facilities with extensive, new, health and leisure facilities.

  It is hoped that a similar, conservation-based approach to development might lead to the successful re-opening of the listed Uxbridge Lido in the L.B. of Hillingdon.

9 August 2001

4   The 1950s pool is not specifically listed, but shares in the listed status of the Edwardian frontage buildings. The demolition of the pool has been accepted in principle by the English Heritage, but no formal approval has been granted. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 15 January 2002