Board doesn’t want to see new pool at KWC

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 28th July 2022 10:01 am
@siobhanfletcher
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The board of the Southern Swimming Pool has appealed against the planning department’s decision to approve plans for a sports complex at King William’s College, Castletown.

The development would see a 50m swimming pool built at the site (planning reference: PA21/00228/A).

In its appeal, it states that:

l The land is outside the Castletown settlement boundary

l The site sits within the setting and settlement of a Registered Building without clear and convincing justification

l Siting and proposal undermine the actions of the Area Plan

l The siting, height, scale and massing impacts the winder landscape surroundings contrary to the Area Plan, Strategic Plan, and various policies

l Unclear purpose of the pool

The board confirmed it had had its objection accepted in a statement released last week.

In it, it said: ‘The board felt that approving it by virtue of “national need” the planning committee did not take a number of points into consideration, particularly when the debate is ongoing over the future of the Southern Community Pool and a replacement pool at the CRHS site.

‘The board met last week with the representative of Knight Kavanagh & Page who are carrying out the island wide pool review on behalf of DESC.

‘A comprehensive report was submitted to them along with the local petition Save our Pool.

‘Staff, management and key stakeholders from the community were invited by the board to meet with KKP to give a rounded view, and the board is extremely grateful to all those who took the time to do so.’

At last week’s Tynwald sitting, this island-wide review was the topic of a question from Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Tim Glover.

Mr Glover asked the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture why off-island consultants were appointed to conduct the review of swimming pools.

Minister Julie Edge stated that only one of the three companies that submitted tenders – Knight, Kavanagh & Page – had a background reviewing sports and leisure facilities across a number of local authorities throughout the British Isles.

Elsewhere in their statement, the board of the Southern Swimming Pool also thanked those Tynwald members who supported the revised Southern Swimming Pool Order, which proposed increasing funding for the maintenance and upkeep of the pool.

Amendments to the Local Government Act 1985 regarding the Western, Northern and Southern Pool boards were laid before the court last week.

The board said: ‘The board of the Southern Swimming Pool thanks the members of Tynwald who supported the revised Southern Swimming Pool Order.

‘A rise in the maximum local authority rate from 2.5p to 6p is a key component in the arsenal towards saving our community pool; along with driving efficiency savings and pressing central government for a realistic deficiency payment.

‘It means that if the local authorities approve the increase the residents of the south will see an average rise from £2.41 per person, per annum, to £5.77, which the board feels represents excellent value for money.’