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Friday, 01 August 2014

Denby confident lido listed status can be overturned

DEVELOPERS of a multi-million-pound project are to appeal a decision to award an outdoor swimming pool listed status.

English Heritage last week gave Grange lido Grade II listed status following a campaign to stop it being filled in.

Some local people have backed the move, but Jonathan Denby, chairman of Berners Vision Partnership, which is carrying out the work, warned the lido is not fit for use and must be demolished.

The BVP bid was chosen by the Grange public in 2008 to redevelop the derelict lido as a leisure area, with public garden, dance and fitness studio, café, office suite and craft studios.

The listed status was secured following the efforts of Phil Bradby – boss of a company that specialises in the restoration of historic architecture – to preserve the lido.

But Mr Denby is confident the decision can be overturned so the lido’s redevelopment can go ahead – along with plans for the nearby development of a leisure centre with indoor swimming pool, care home, medical centre and affordable housing.

Mr Denby said the listed status could be overturned if the lido was proven beyond repair. He now has 28 days to submit the appeal.

He said: “It’s completely derelict. All the concrete is gone, it’s well past its natural life, but, more importantly, all the little metal tanks that hold the seawater have corroded.

“It can’t be restored, so it would have to be completely rebuilt and that would cost millions.

“There simply isn’t that money.

“And even if it was restored, it would only be in use for a certain number of days a year (during hot weather) and you can’t run a commercial venture and pay for the running costs on an enormous pool like this on the basis of a few days in the year.”

Campaigners protested outside the lido on Thursday, during the Evening Mail’s visit to the site. A Save Grange Lido Facebook page has attracted over 600 followers.

Mr Denby said they had been “badly misled” over the prospects of restoring the pool.

But campaign leader Melissa Harrington said: “In these days of stay-cations, economic recessions, nostalgia and open water swimming, it would be a fantastic thing to bring back and it would bring tourist revenue.

“If you actually Google lidos, you’ll see there’s a lot of successfully renovated lidos doing really well.

“And now it’s been listed thanks to Phil, local people have got this ray of hope that maybe we can get funding, maybe we can get some more attention to stop this unsympathetic development that’s not going to benefit the community.”

Councillor Hilary Stephenson, South Lakeland District Council portfolio holder for communities and wellbeing, said: “It’s important to create a situation as quick as we can where the dereliction of this site is dealt with.”

Have your say

I was born at Lindale nr Grange and every Sunday weather permitting we would go for a swim,It brought back memories and its a long time ago.

Posted by Beryl Davis on 24 September 2011 at 16:29

i am too young to remember the lido as a funsctioning facility but want it to be restored so i and many others can experience and enjoy it. developers are too quick to build houses and even when they call them 'affordable' they rarely are. get a grip and preserve a piece of history!!!

Posted by k on 19 September 2011 at 15:28

View all 7 comments on this article

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