Plans to replace Splash with conventional pool spark backlash
- Credit: Archant
Fans of the unusual 'beach-style' facilities at an aging north Norfolk swimming pool have slammed a council's plans to replace it with a more conventional facility.
North Norfolk District Council wants to build a £10.7 million leisure centre in Sheringham to replace Splash, which opened in the town in 1988 featuring a wave machine, slide and shallow end which mimics a beach.
But users of the current facility have urged the council to revise its plans, which include a six-lane 25-metre pool, a learner pool and multi-purpose studios, but lack the features they have come to love.
MORE: Reader letter: The council's plans to replace Splash will backfireAmong them is Samantha Green, from Norwich, who said she was 'very sad' about the proposed design.
She said: 'Me and my partner took our six-year-old son last week and I was talking of making it tradition as my late mother did with me and we enjoy making a whole day of it - the beach, the town, we love it all. This will be so sad for me and future generations. I do not want splash do be a distant memory. Maybe they can just refurbish the pool and add more fun.'
And Chris Pope said Splash drew visitors from far and wide, as should its replacement. He said: 'Splash offers something a bit extra with the beach layout. The council should think long and hard before committing to a solely local solution.'
But the council said slides and a wave machine at the new centre would cost too much to install and maintain.
A spokesman said: 'This has been confirmed as part of our leisure contractor procurement as well where we have found that these costs would not be recovered.'
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However, the spokesman said the new centre would have a 'colourful splash pad and learner pool for children to enjoy and where they can improve their confidence in the water.'
MORE: Plans for £10.7m pool and sports centre take a leap forwardHe said: 'In addition, the leisure market has moved a long way since the 1980s to either huge water parks with large, fixed infrastructure; or mixed use municipal pools. These cater for both those who wish to just swim and the 'play' market.'
The council has also said a conventional swimming pool, rather than a leisure pool, was needed in order to secure Sport England funding for the project.
It said Splash, which costs £150,000 a year to run, will be demolished.
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