22nd Mar, 2019

Bulldozers may move in to level Sansome Walk pool site

CITY COUNCIL chiefs are set to approve proposals to level Worcester’s crumbling Sansome Walk swimming pool to the ground when it closes its doors.

The historic venue, which has played host to swimming since April 1972, will close early next year when the city’s new £10.5million swimming pool at Perdiswell opens.

And Worcester City Council bosses want to press ahead with plans to demolish the building to accelerate the possibility of the land being sold for housing.

The fate of Sansome Walk could finally be sealed at a meeting of the authority’s cabinet on Tuesday (December 13) where plans to combat potential vandalism and trespassing will be discussed.

Council officers have raised fears that, if left empty, the Sansome Walk site could become a target for vandalism, theft and fire once it is closed.

A potential danger for trespassers falling from a height should they enter the building is also among the risks should the site be left derelict.

At the meeting, cabinet members will be asked to approve the demolition of the old pool to avoid it becoming a potential target for vandalism, while discussions are held over future uses of the 2.1 acre site.

Councillors will also be asked to back the investigation of options for how the land can be developed to accommodate new housing.

Initial fears the site could be used as a pay and display car park appear to have been thwarted as the site is ear-marked for housing in the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

Council chiefs are hoping to recoup £500,000 from the site if it is sold to a developer but other options include the council leasing the land or entering into a joint venture with a third party

If the plans are approved, security would immediately be brought in to protect the site once it closes and council officers will begin work to gain all legal permissions needed to demolish the old pool as soon as possible.

Coun Joy Squires, cabinet member for Performance and Resources, said: “After more than 45 years it will be sad to see the end of Sansome Walk but the new Perdiswell pool will bring fantastic new facilities for swimmers of all abilities.

“Now we need to focus on making the Sansome Walk site safe and look to its longer term future, so I hope Cabinet members will support these recommendations,” she added.

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