23rd Aug, 2019

Council chiefs back Sansome Walk pool demolition

Rob George 8th Aug, 2019

THE HISTORIC Sansome Walk swimming pool could finally demolished by next autumn after city council chiefs gave the green light for work to begin.

Work at the site has been delayed after surveys showed a greater level of asbestos was present than had previously been revealed.

After working with specialists to re-examine the demolition process, officers presented their findings to members of the Policy and Resources Committee last Wednesday (July 31).

A £750,000 Government grant has already been awarded to the council to support the demolition work and councillors backed proposals to allocate an extra £832,000 towards the work at the meeting.

Coun Simon Geraghty questioned the method to make the site safe which would leave some asbestoes fibres in the ground but unable to be exposed to local residents.

“Having spent a considerable amount of taxpayers money, asbestos fibres will be left on the site. I wonder whether we ought to get a second opinion, clearly this could be the way forward but we ought to fully mitigate the risk to local residents,” he said.

Officers reassured councillors approval for work to make the site safe would be discussed further following the demolition of the city’s former swimming pool.

Coun Joy Squires said: “It’s been a couple of years since we made the decision to demolish the site, residents have been waiting all that time.

“I’ve lost count of how many years it would have been since the pool closed so we really do need to get on with this. I absolutely share the concerns about the asbestoes in the site and the need to reassure residents it’s being dealt with safely.”

“We have arrived at a stage where we can do something about demolising the pool and I think we need to make a decision,” she said.

Following its closure in December 2016, the Sansome Walk site was made safe and secure to avoid any risk of unauthorised people entering it.

Surveys were carried out in 2017 to confirm the extent of asbestos in the building before the demolition work was put out to tender.  However, last September additional surveys found more asbestos than had been expected.

The building is likely to be completely covered by ‘wrapped scaffolding’ during the demolition process in order to protect the public and air quality will be monitored both inside and outside by an accredited independent analyst.

Demolition work is expected to begin in February 2020 and last until October that year.

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