26th Jun, 2022

Kenilworth lido campaigners consider legal challenge

Ian Hughes 28th Mar, 2019

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for a full size lido in Kenilworth are considering a legal challenge.

The Restore Kenilworth Lido (RKL) campaign group want to see the existing outdoor fun shaped pool in Abbey Fields replaced with a 25 metre heated lido which could be used all year round.

And a barrister has told them he believes they have a legal case, arguing the proposal for an outdoor pool was not properly considered by Warwick District Council (WDC) during the consultation process.

David Wolfe QC said: “In my opinion there are good reasons to think that the court would find that the council’s approach had indeed not been fair, as was required, and accordingly had been unlawful.”

WDC approved design work on proposals in January to build a new indoor pool as part of a major overhaul of both the swimming pool and Castle Farm Recreation Centre in the town – at a cost of up to £24million.

The council say an indoor pool would meet the ‘substantial demand’ locally for more swimming lessons and during the summer could be ‘opened up’ onto an adjoining new terrace

An RKL spokesman said the group would prefer to resolve the matter with the council without the need for litigation and the time and expense it would involve – particularly the cost to the taxpayer.

RKL campaign secretary Judy Brook said: “I have been overwhelmed with the strength of public opinion to keep outdoor swimming in Kenilworth.

“Lidos in the UK are growing in popularity and I strongly believe we need to keep this unique asset, as it is part of the character of the town. I am concerned that in the past the benefits, which are many, have not been fully communicated to the council and I would urge them to take this opportunity to listen to what we and the community have to say.”

A Warwick District Council told The Observer a pre-action letter had been received and had been passed on to the authority’s solicitors.

RKL are also concerned whether the existing outdoor pool will open in May,

An RKL spokesman added: “Restore Kenilworth Lido has some doubts that this will happen as the pool is looking very dilapidated, having remained uncovered for much of the winter and little evidence of any recommissioning work taking place ahead of the season.”

But the council confirmed it was expected to reopen on time.

A spokesman told The Observer: “Everyone Active who manage and operate the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool are progressing well with a programme of maintenance to the current outdoor pool.

“The early start to the works means that the pool is on track to open at the end of May with additional lifeguards trained and ready to go.”

Campaigners are considering legal action in their fight to for a full sized lido in Abbey Fields.

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