Broomhill pool should cross latest hurdle next week if planners agree

Architect's impression of the rebuilt Broomhill lido. Picture: KLH Architects

Architect's impression of the rebuilt Broomhill lido. Picture: KLH Architects - Credit: Archant

The latest hurdle in the long battle to restore and reopen Broomhill pool in Ipswich should be cleared next week when a formal planning application is discussed by borough councillors.

Mark Ling of The Broomhill Pool Trust

Mark Ling of The Broomhill Pool Trust

The proposal to restore the 1938-built pool and turn it into a leisure facility that can be used all year is to be discussed by the borough’s planning and development committee.

Officers are recommending approval for the plan which has already been discussed at length by the council – and it is though highly unlikely that members of the committee will put up any objections.

But this is just one stage that has to be passed before restoration of the pool can start. Probably the most crucial decision is due to be made next month.

The company behind the restoration, Fusion Lifestyle, is due to hear then whether the application has succeeded in getting funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Fusion Lifestyle has already been promised £1m from the council to go towards the restoration of the pool which is still owned by the authority. It has been closed to the public since 2002.

The proposed restoration will see the pool’s water heated for the first time since the hot water pipes were removed for the war effort in 1940 – but it sill not be as hot as an indoor pool. It should allow it to be open to the public for more months of the year and for some hardy swimmers throughout the year.

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Mark Ling from the Broomhill Trust welcomed the news that the planning application was going to be discussed by the council.

He said: “This is an important stage. We have had a great deal of support from the council and it has been a long process. This is something that has to be obtained, but I am not worried about things at all.

“The really big decision will come next month when the HLF announces its decision. If the pool gets the go-ahead from them Fusion Lifestyle will be able to go ahead and seek tenders for the work. All this has taken a long time, but it has had to be a thorough job and that takes time.”

If the HLF grant does come through it will take two years to get contracts in place and the work completed – hopefully the pool will reopen to the public as part of a new leisure centre in 2020.