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Forest Hill Pool
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cllr chris best


Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #21
07-02-2008 12:46 AM

Many of you will be aware of the Mayors decision in February 2007 to refurbish Forest Hill Pools subject to further feasibility work. This work has now been undertaken and a report on the outcomes will be discussed at the Mayor and Cabinet meeting next Wednesday 13 February ? 6pm at the Town Hall. For the details of the report see below:
http://www.lewisham.gov.uk./NR/rdonlyres/7A7C40E3-CCE1-450E-93DD-6E27F6D8E75C/0/b62b28ab22cb4e1288582c691a46bc19Item5ForestHillPools13February2008.PDF

The pools are badly cracked and leaking so that there are inherent risks and difficulties with the refurbishment. The officers are recommending demolition and clearance of the site including Louise House and engaging with representatives of the local community as well as users of the pool to develop the design and feasibility work.

We have funding for a new 25m pool, a learner pool, fitness suite and community facilities. We plan to cross subsidise the cost with new housing on the pocket park next to the pool and replacing the park with extensive landscaping from the library across the new frontage. This new building will be complementary in architectural style to the library.

As well as being a Sydenham Councillor I am the Cabinet Member for Community Services that includes leisure facilities and I would be pleased to hear your views on a new leisure facility.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #22
07-02-2008 09:31 AM

I hate to sound droll but we all new this was going to happen, why didnt the Mayor just demolish the pool and get on with it instead of having a very expensive consultation?

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Happysnapper


Posts: 93
Joined: Aug 2007
Post: #23
07-02-2008 10:00 AM

ForestGump Wrote:
At the public consultation the Mayor it was said there was ?4.5M to ?4.7M available for Forest Hill Pools.

When the pools closed in spring 2006 it was reported work would not begin till April 2008, but that was before the invasive survey was conducted.

Wavelengths is well underway and should open later this year, I don't think the Forest Hill project has gone to tender yet. Looks like the pools will not re-open before 2010, possibly 2012.

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/search/disp...g_pool.php


Hi there

It would be great if Forest Hill could have a well-run pool. It does seem a massive shame that the current building might well be pulled down.

What is Wavelengths by the way?

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #24
07-02-2008 10:47 AM

Get on with it.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #25
07-02-2008 11:26 AM

So basically the consultation was a complete waste of time and the council have not paid any attention to the wishes of the local community whose response was to maintain the existing pools. Exactly how much did that exercise cost the taxpayer Cllr Chris Best?

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robwinton


Posts: 335
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #26
07-02-2008 11:36 AM

There is a sad inevitability to this.

I could probably have written this report myself two years ago (guessing at the numbers, but the conclusions are obvious). It fills me with powerless rage to even consider it, but that is what local politics is all about. Why we had to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to prove things that were going to be obvious I don't know.

For example, they allow for around ?2.5m increase (from ?7.43m to ?9.7m) for "4 years worth of construction inflation" and the previous supplier's more aggressive pricing. If they had actually got on with it 4 years ago they could have fixed the price and that same increase could have covered any possible overspend (and not just go to "inflation") and we'd have the pools back earning their keep by now.

I hate to have to give in, but for heaven's sake would someone just pull their finger out and get on with the job!!

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Ciej


Posts: 38
Joined: Jul 2007
Post: #27
07-02-2008 11:40 AM

Having read the report in full, I think there are clear arguments for a complete demolition and a spanking new facility. This is a shame as I am generally all in favour of retaining victorian buildings whereever possible, because I think they really do add character to Forest Hill.

But a closed pool is no good at all, no matter how nice it looks.

I think the priority now should be to move the process forward as quickly as possible. I think it's good that local residents will have a say in the planning of the new facility, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse for another 2 years of delay.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #28
07-02-2008 11:42 AM

Ciej Wrote:
Having read the report in full, I think there are clear arguments for a complete demolition and a spanking new facility. This is a shame as I am generally all in favour of retaining victorian buildings whereever possible, because I think they really do add character to Forest Hill.

But a closed pool is no good at all, no matter how nice it looks.

I think the priority now should be to move the process forward as quickly as possible. I think it's good that local residents will have a say in the planning of the new facility, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse for another 2 years of delay.



We had a say in if we wanted a new building or to retain the other one, we chose to retain the existing structure. That is now going. Do you really think we will have any say in what the new building will look like?

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #29
07-02-2008 12:01 PM

Ciej Wrote:
But a closed pool is no good at all, no matter how nice it looks.


This is just a tactic, Sainsbury's used it as I recall. The plan is to spend thousands on a consultation so that it looks like the council have sought out public opinion. If the result doesnt go the 'right way', the council leaves the building empty for years, so that people get so fed up with an empty building that they eventually give in and accept what the council wanted in the first place. Cursing

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #30
07-02-2008 12:03 PM

gingernuts Wrote:

Ciej Wrote:
But a closed pool is no good at all, no matter how nice it looks.


This is just a tactic, Sainsbury's used it as I recall. The plan is to spend thousands on a consultation so that it looks like the council have sought out public opinion. If the result doesnt go the 'right way', the council leaves the building empty for years, so that people get so fed up with an empty building that they eventually give in and accept what the council wanted in the first place. Cursing


Is the right answer!!Cursing

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michael


Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #31
07-02-2008 12:24 PM

From last night's FH ward meeting there is a clear intention to work with the public on the design proposals. It should be possible consult with the public at a number of key stages in the process. The first thing is for the basic designs to be worked out (the report requests ?100k to start this immediately). These would probably then be discussed with the public while a contractor is brought in to do the work, followed by more consultation before the build goes ahead. The Ward Assembly may even choose to set up a working group specifically to consult on a regular basis regarding the pools, hopefully this could be made up of a cross-section of the community including ex-pool users and people with knowledge of building design. It may even be possible to post information on this forum and get feedback this way, it might not be democratic or representative but se23.com provides an excellent early warning system!

I believe that it is possible to build a new building that compliments the library better than the two existing buildings. It is always a shame to destroy well built and much loved local amenities, but a new build could be considerably better than the current building. We could see if there is a way to build bright yellow water slides that wrap themselves around the library and possibly even pass through the middle of the library.

For people new to the forum there was much discussion of the pools at http://www.se23.com/forum-archive/messages/9/716.html
over the last couple of years. It is a real shame that it has taken this long to reach what many of us knew (or hoped) would be the inevitable conclusion.

The design needs to be right, but I am also keen that we do not spend more time consulting than it takes to do the work. At least 2 years have been wasted, let's not waste any more.

It would be good if local people showed their passion for the pools by attending the Mayor and Cabinet meeting next week where the report will be submitted and the mayor needs to make a decision on how to proceed. We need to make sure that everything moves forward as quickly as possible.

Details of the cabinet meeting can be found at: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/councilanddem...202008.htm

13 February 2008, 6:00pm
Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford
Pools are item 5 on the agenda


Cabinet meetings are open to the public to observe and individuals can speak but only if they request this prior to the start of the meeting.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #32
07-02-2008 12:38 PM

michael Wrote:
From last night's FH ward meeting there is a clear intention to work with the public on the design proposals. It should be possible consult with the public at a number of key stages in the process. The first thing is for the basic designs to be worked out (the report requests ?100k to start this immediately). These would probably then be discussed with the public while a contractor is brought in to do the work, followed by more consultation before the build goes ahead. The Ward Assembly may even choose to set up a working group specifically to consult on a regular basis regarding the pools, hopefully this could be made up of a cross-section of the community including ex-pool users and people with knowledge of building design. It may even be possible to post information on this forum and get feedback this way, it might not be democratic or representative but se23.com provides an excellent early warning system!

I believe that it is possible to build a new building that compliments the library better than the two existing buildings. It is always a shame to destroy well built and much loved local amenities, but a new build could be considerably better than the current building. We could see if there is a way to build bright yellow water slides that wrap themselves around the library and possibly even pass through the middle of the library.

For people new to the forum there was much discussion of the pools at http://www.se23.com/forum-archive/messages/9/716.html
over the last couple of years. It is a real shame that it has taken this long to reach what many of us knew (or hoped) would be the inevitable conclusion.

The design needs to be right, but I am also keen that we do not spend more time consulting than it takes to do the work. At least 2 years have been wasted, let's not waste any more.

It would be good if local people showed their passion for the pools by attending the Mayor and Cabinet meeting next week where the report will be submitted and the mayor needs to make a decision on how to proceed. We need to make sure that everything moves forward as quickly as possible.

Details of the cabinet meeting can be found at: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/councilanddem...202008.htm

13 February 2008, 6:00pm
Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford
Pools are item 5 on the agenda


Cabinet meetings are open to the public to observe and individuals can speak but only if they request this prior to the start of the meeting.


If we genuinly have input into this and at the end of the build we get everything we want then I shall buy you all a glass of fine champagne in the Bird in Hand (see where I went thereSmile

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #33
07-02-2008 12:40 PM

Just a note - if my memory is correct, the result of the consultation proces was most people indicated that they wanted new-build and NOT to retain the existing structures. Personally, I was in favour or retaining them, but if we're going for new-build, please let's not go for some Victorian pastiche that 'compliments' the exisiting library. Let's go for something that's new and forward looking.

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robwinton


Posts: 335
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #34
07-02-2008 12:47 PM

nevermodern Wrote:
Let's go for something that's new and forward looking.


Blink sounds odd coming from someone calling themselves nevermodern

yes, let's avoid pastiche, but let's also avoid a mind-numbingly-dull, lowest common denominator, glass fronted "carbuncle" that will look shabby and out of date within a couple of years too.

As I think I said before (in that historical thread), if we could count on the council to create something forward looking I'd be happy, but for cost reasons that will not be the case and we will get another dodgy and eventually embarrassing glass box instead.

I think that getting everyone to agree could backfire (they never do anyway, so as demonstrated above, the bureaucrats win). I would prefer to get a list of requirements then send someone off to meet them with the task of being bold - then learning to like what we get.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #35
07-02-2008 01:12 PM

michael Wrote:
It is always a shame to destroy well built and much loved local amenities, but a new build could be considerably better than the current building. We could see if there is a way to build bright yellow water slides that wrap themselves around the library and possibly even pass through the middle of the library.


I guess it goes without saying that we would lose the elegant Victorian facade? So why not wrap bright yellow plastic (no doubt) water slides around BOTH buildings. Are you joking Michael? IMHO this would look tacky and cheap. I dont see this as particularly progressive and certainly would not support such a design plan.

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michael


Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #36
07-02-2008 02:05 PM

gingernuts Wrote:

michael Wrote:
It is always a shame to destroy well built and much loved local amenities, but a new build could be considerably better than the current building. We could see if there is a way to build bright yellow water slides that wrap themselves around the library and possibly even pass through the middle of the library.


I guess it goes without saying that we would lose the elegant Victorian facade? So why not wrap bright yellow plastic (no doubt) water slides around BOTH buildings. Are you joking Michael? IMHO this would look tacky and cheap. I dont see this as particularly progressive and certainly would not support such a design plan.


Of course I was joking. I am sure there are ways to build a sympathetic building beside the library just as was done with Horniman. Cheap design must not be an option.

I look forward to a pool where you do not have to walk in muddy shoes right next to the pool before you get to the changing rooms.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #37
07-02-2008 02:13 PM

I agree - cheap must not be an option. The Dulwich Picture gallery is another example where contempory design works well with the old building.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #38
07-02-2008 05:55 PM

Happysnapper Wrote:

ForestGump Wrote:
At the public consultation the Mayor it was said there was ?4.5M to ?4.7M available for Forest Hill Pools.

When the pools closed in spring 2006 it was reported work would not begin till April 2008, but that was before the invasive survey was conducted.

Wavelengths is well underway and should open later this year, I don't think the Forest Hill project has gone to tender yet. Looks like the pools will not re-open before 2010, possibly 2012.

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/search/disp...g_pool.php


Hi there

It would be great if Forest Hill could have a well-run pool. It does seem a massive shame that the current building might well be pulled down.

What is Wavelengths by the way?


Wavelengths is a reasonably modern pool, gym and library in Deptford. The pool is an irregular shape and primarily for fun it has a wave machine, water beds, a communual hot tub and a small learning pool which doubles up as the landing area for people using the flumes.

Because the pool is not ideal for swimming an additional 25m pool is currently being built for about the same money the Mayor said was originally available for the Forest Hill Pools.

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #39
07-02-2008 06:21 PM

I have to share the view that this was inevitable. I am only sorry that time and money have been wasted, but agree that a properly designed procured and constructed newbuild was the only satisfactory and economical solution from the start. Swimming pools are notorious for wear and tear and only rarely do the older buildings work well.

Rather than have the Council fork out for a feasibility study, they should hold a design competition and set up a working group of local interested people to get involved and identify from the start examples that work and those that don't. I suggest they start with the architects and project management team that did Beckenham Spa.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #40
07-02-2008 07:19 PM

Not only was money spent on the intrusive survey since November 2006 Parkwood have been paid ?21,250 a month (?255,000pa) to maintain the pools, whilst the detailed feasibility and risk asessment requested in February 2006 did not begin till July 2007?

Quote:
4.9 ... on the 22 February 2006 the Mayor made an in principle decision in favour of the refurbishment option conditional upon officers undertaking a detailed feasibility and risk assessment of the building, facility and site to determine the scale of work, level of risk and potential cost of the refurbishment option.


Quote:
4.14 ... the Councils Programme Management team were not able to fully commence the detailed feasibility study and risk assessment until July 2007.

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