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Have your say on changes at Ilfracombe Swimming Pool

[Tuesday 10 July 2012]

Photo - Ilfracombe Swimming Pool

Local swimmers in Ilfracombe are being asked about new proposals to change the town's pool.

North Devon Council is carrying out a consultation to find out what users think of plans to create a learner pool at Ilfracombe swimming pool. This would be achieved by placing a boom across the 33 metre pool, creating the separate learner area and shortening the remaining pool to a standard 25 metre length.

The proposed changes at the facility, which is owned by the council but run by Parkwood Leisure, would mean the newly created 25m pool would allow the swimming club to swim competitive time trials at the designated length. It would also allow the club to host competitive swimming galas, which they haven't previously been able to do because of the non-standard pool length.

Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Derrick Spear, says: "We want to explain to pool users why we're considering the installation of a boom. We believe creating the two swimming areas will allow far greater flexibility when it comes to programming at the pool. For example, it will allow lane swimming to continue when exercise classes or lessons are being held, with less disruption than is currently experienced by roping off different areas of the pool. As a result, we believe this will help make the facility even more sustainable for generations to come.

"However, we are aware how much the pool is loved and understand that many people enjoy its 33m length. I would be very interested to hear the views of all users and hope they will take this opportunity to share their thoughts with us."

Local ward member, Councillor Mike Edmunds, says: "I believe installing a boom will provide two distinct areas, which will benefit the different types of pool users and potentially attract new ones. Of course, we would like to hear what local people think of the plans, so I hope they will come forward and take part in this consultation."

If the decision is made to install a permanent boom, the installation will take around four weeks and would involve the facility being closed completely during that time. This would create the opportunity to retile the pool and address the existing, corroded inlet pipes staining the old pool tiles.

One of the other options being considered is to install a moveable boom. Although more costly, this would mean the boom could be moved up and down the length of the pool, and make the facility even more flexible.

The consultation is open from Tuesday 10 July until 21 August. You can have your say online by going to the council's consultation page. Alternatively, paper copies of the survey are available in the pool reception and can be handed in on completion, or returned to the Parks, Leisure and Culture team at North Devon Council, Civic Centre, Barnstaple, EX31 1EA.

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