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Forest Hill Pool
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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #61
12-02-2008 11:55 AM

This whole matter is a total farce.

The council puts in place a contract to run - but not maintain - the pools.

It then acts surprised when as a result of its neglect (both during the period of the last contract and over many years before), faults develop that will prove costly to put right.

Rather than face up to the consequences of its gross incompetence it decides it would be easier to start again - after all, everyone loves a nice new building project - what could be better than the opportunity for Beardy B"u"llocks and his chums to have their grinning mugs in some council propaganda sheet extolling the wonderful work they do for us, kissing some babies and cutting a ribbon?

There is then the token nod to democracy by pretending that they will respect the local wish to retain the building (due in no small part to lack of trust in the council to deliver a proper replacement) when all the while it is actually a foregone conclusion that they wish to clear the site (incl Louise House, also left wastefully unused for years).

All the while, the years tick by with nowhere to swim - except in far-flung, more deserving parts of the borough, to which we as the non-excluded are welcome to travel.

I maintain that the pools could have been kept in use and updated with some fairly simple work costing perhaps ?1m and a year or so:

1. Close pool, prop and ballast pool tanks, drain, erect scaffold and repair timber roof structure.
2. Grout voids under pool tanks.
3. Repair pool tanks.
4. Construct extension to side housing new changing rooms, removing need to access via pool side.

I don't think this sort of approach ever received serious consideration.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #62
12-02-2008 12:02 PM

Three words:

Common, sense and politician!!!

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #63
12-02-2008 12:02 PM

Well said. I must say that this is what I thought the option to retain the old building was more about. After all repairs will be required for any building, but a small spend to keep things ticking over would have been preferential to a huge rebuild project that never gets off the ground.

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #64
12-02-2008 12:28 PM

It would be for the rational and competent person or organisation taking a long-term view on the most effective way of making sure their valuable assets stay in good working order (as you would your car or house), but it would mean finding money from the revenue budget rather than the capital budget.

It's easier just to forget about the maintenance and see how long the thing takes to fall to bits - and maintenance is just so much less sexy (or vote-winning) than a shiny new building, isn't it Steve?

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #65
12-02-2008 12:33 PM

And how much would we 'save' if we were to get rid of the mayor of lewisham's office entirely?

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stevegrindlay


Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #66
12-02-2008 12:48 PM

PSJarrett Wrote:
...Perhaps someone (Steve Grindlay??) could be commissioned to write a history of the site...

I did write a brief history of the pools some years, ago, uploaded . There is a link at the top of the item leading to some pictures.

Louise House is mentioned in passing . The article is about the boys' equivalent of Louise House, Shaftesbury House on Perry Rise, which was needlessly demolished some eight years ago. I'm afraid the article reflects my irritation at the total lack of consultation about the demolition, with no opportunity to record the building. There are now very few, if any, pictures of Shaftesbury House.


For a random selection of items on local history visit my blog at:
http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogspot.com/
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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #67
12-02-2008 07:06 PM

roz Wrote:
This thread needs to explore what sort of pool development best serves the community, marry that with commonsense and commercial nuance, and propose a way in which we can have meaningful dialogue and influence over the design and facilities, and management.


Love Hello Love
I understand what you are saying but the public have been let down and misinformed by the officers/politicians who are asking us to trust them to get this project delivered.

In 2005 the public were told.

Quote:
Depending on the options chosen it will take between ?4m and ?4.7m at today?s prices.


From the council's Forest Hill Pools FAQ website...

Quote:
Why are there only two options?
The two options being presented are those which are realistically deliverable on the site, within planning constraints and at an affordable cost.


The cost of the current recommendation was calculated in the summer of 2005 if you take away the possible land sale receipt it came to ...... ?4.7m.

More Forest Hill Pools FAQs

Quote:
Regarding the 2nd option why can?t the grassed area be used for a second pool?
The grassed area is public open space and not part of the consultation.


At the consultation the public were incorrectly told it was not possible to build on open land. In the hall was a cabinet member who was at the time building houses on Metropolitan Open Space and the Mayor who'd agreed to a building on park land in Deptford.

The first example doesn't show commonsense and the second demonstrates how meaningful dialogue can be curtailed. I'm sure those sort of problems can be ironed out.
-----
I've re-read the recommendation and I don't think the farcade will be retained. If you accept the officers opinions, they say it is to costly and the sale of land may not be possible.

The officers state because of the water leakage if refurbishment goes ahead 12-18 would be required to let the back fill dry out. Would that still be case with a new build?

To have the new pools by the summer of 2010 would mean building needs to start by January 2009?

I looked at the Mayor's budget and I could only see ?5.6m allocated for Forest Hill pools, does that mean the funds will be 'found' over the coming years? Also, will the funding of the pool depend on a developer obtaining planning permission to build housing?

If there is space and budget for community rooms, would a dance studio be useful or maybe music rooms, how about an information come meeting room, possibly a Steve Grindlay corner revealing the history of Forest Hill on a multi-digital-platform?

Changing rooms: boys on the left, girls on the right or village style with individual changing cubicles?

Showers: A request from a female friend, can she have a private shower rather than the public ones at Wavelengths?

Is a sauna a viable proposition?

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michael


Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #68
13-02-2008 10:03 AM

A video of the history of the pool is available at http://foresthillsociety.blogspot.com/20...story.html presented by Steve Grindlay.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #69
13-02-2008 10:37 AM

It's All Over is splashed across the front page of this weeks Lewisham Mercury. News hound Lawrence Conway reports after more than two years a report before the Mayor recommends he goes back to the drawing board, a recommendation which is reported the Mayor will follow.

The Mayor begins by saying he is disapointed as it is a fantastic building. He further says.

Quote:
Back in the mid-1990's the council spent a small amount to extend the life of the building for 10 years, which it did.

But that didn't deal with any of the long-term problems resulting from the age of the building.

We now know a third building on the site is redundant and therefore a new pool will have more space to be built on.

That makes putting a new building up a more attractive option than it was a few years ago. I would hope we are on site early next year.


The Mayor goes on to say the pool currently blocks the spectacular view of the library on one side and a new pool can be built that highlights the library, which he regards as a much more significant building than the existing pools.

He aims to make the site the hub of Forest Hill again and feels this is the best and quickest option for that to happen.

Finally the Mayor says.

Quote:
I'm expecting to take the first swim in the new pool during the summer of 2010.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #70
13-02-2008 10:41 AM

I wonder if he will still be Mayor when he has his swim?

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soulrider


Posts: 37
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #71
13-02-2008 11:07 AM

Well im already a member of Cannons near my work so I suppose I can go for a swim back home on the weekend now? I assume it will be a cannons considering they are every where? I can see the future news headlines ..more cannons than rats in london by 2010.

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michael


Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #72
13-02-2008 10:19 PM

The mayor and cabinet agreed with the recommendation to demolish the existing buildings and build a new two pool facility on the site of the pool and Louise House. There is a commitment to consult with local groups and residents regarding the design and to open the new pool in the summer of 2010. There is also a commitment to integrate some of the features of the existing pools building into the new design.

Work will begin at the beginning of 2009 after the design and then tender process.

It is a shame it has taken two years to reach this conclusion, however we now probably have the best future for swimming, leisure, and other community facilities on the site. It provides a good future for Forest Hill town centre, and with the tube connection and a brand new leisure complex for Forest Hill, 2010 looks like being a great year for Forest Hill.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #73
14-02-2008 01:01 AM

Thanks for the information.

Were anymore details of possible facilities given?

Did the Mayor give an undertaking the project will go ahead even if all the funding is not in place?

Was there any indication if any plans have been developed yet, the reason I ask because the additional pool at Wavelengths took about 2 years from it being proposed to the building work beginning.

I assume demolition and preparing the site will begin fairly soon.

Maybe there should be a draining of the pool ceremony.

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michael


Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #74
14-02-2008 09:32 AM

ForestGump Wrote:
Were anymore details of possible facilities given?

They are looking for ideas from the community for other facilities we would like to have on the site. I know a few ideas already exist, such as rooms for adult education, but other ideas are welcomed.

This site was mentioned by Councillor Best in the meeting as a place where she had been watching the views of local residents. So this thread continues to be a good place to discuss what should be on the site and it is something that I expect will be discussed in ward assemblies and Forest Hill Society general meetings for the next few months.

ForestGump Wrote:
Did the Mayor give an undertaking the project will go ahead even if all the funding is not in place?

Although I did not stay for the next item on the agenda (the budget) it was clear that the increased funding was in the proposed budget and that building residential property on the adjacent 'pocket-park' will help to fund this community facility.

ForestGump Wrote:
Was there any indication if any plans have been developed yet, the reason I ask because the additional pool at Wavelengths took about 2 years from it being proposed to the building work beginning.

Design work will begin very soon. ?100k was put aside for this to start immediately and I think the council are ready to initiate discussions.

ForestGump Wrote:
I assume demolition and preparing the site will begin fairly soon.

Probably not as it will probably be part of the construction phase that the council need to put out to tender, this is a lengthy process, but the plan is to have initial designs completed soon so that the tender can begin and construction can start at the beginning of 2009.

ForestGump Wrote:
Maybe there should be a draining of the pool ceremony.

According to the report the pool empties itself every 36 days due to cracks in the walls. So a draining ceremony is hardly necessary, more a case of turning off a tap, waiting for a month, and then mopping up anything left.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #75
14-02-2008 10:56 AM

Quote:
I'm expecting to take the first swim in the new pool during the summer of 2010.

Oh, ha ha - lets make Steve B***ck* stick to his words and have him standing there naked apart from his swimming trunks in the middle of a building site!

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #76
14-02-2008 10:02 PM

Michael:
Thankyou for the responses. I wondered if the council has to have all the funding in place before any building work can begin. As I understand it the council will 'find' the extra ?2m over the next 2-3 years. As the council doesn't hypothecate land sales I wondered what would happen if the sale hadn't been concluded in time for building to start.

At Wavelengths they didn't seem to invite tenders, and from the Mayor's go-ahead to starting to build took took 18 months. Either the council have drawn up plans or they are going to have to act very quickly?

With so much leakage from the pool it's amazing someone enterprising hasn't bottled it as Forest Hill spring water.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #77
15-02-2008 09:00 AM

I'm surprised Capita didn't spot the potential....from the August 2005 report...

Quote:
However, there is an issue with the surface water outflow or
spring which can be seen at the rear of the site but has not been traced along its subsequent route.


.....err I think we guess the source? Unsure

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michael


Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #78
15-02-2008 10:17 AM

ForestGump Wrote:
Michael:
Thankyou for the responses. I wondered if the council has to have all the funding in place before any building work can begin. As I understand it the council will 'find' the extra ?2m over the next 2-3 years. As the council doesn't hypothecate land sales I wondered what would happen if the sale hadn't been concluded in time for building to start.

At Wavelengths they didn't seem to invite tenders, and from the Mayor's go-ahead to starting to build took took 18 months. Either the council have drawn up plans or they are going to have to act very quickly?


I think these questions are better directed to councillors rather than me.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #79
15-02-2008 01:48 PM

michael Wrote:
I think these questions are better directed to councillors rather than me.


I tend to throw questions up just for general discussion so not aimed at you.

Councillor? I was hoping a Cabinet Member could clarify certain matters.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #80
15-02-2008 01:55 PM

Well, I think if you look at the Goveernment bid for the Olympic Games, you can see that the funding for any project doesnt have to to be in place before commitment. The question is, once the work has started, will they continue to fund the pools project in Forest Hill? Worst possible outcome is that they bulldoze the old victorian building and then decide that they can no longer afford a pool, so just build a block of monster flats.

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