New attempt to demolish Speedwell Swimming Pool

May 01 2017
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An application has been submitted to Bristol City Council to demolish the derelict Speedwell Swimming pool building to make way for a five-story block containing 31 residential units, as well as car park, refuse and landscaping.

The swimming pool was built in 1937 by Bristol architect CFW Denning and has locally listed status. However it hasn't been used for more than a decade and has been the centre of controversy, with some fighting for it to be reopened as a swimming pool for East Bristol.

However, a number of barriers to this - including the dilapidated condition of the building - have meant that council has had to consider other options and the building has been left in limbo. Now developer Crossman Homes has put forward a proposal to demolish the building altogether and replace it with a large apartment block.

Lisa Murfin of Friends of Speedwell Swimming Pool said that there had been much talk of restoring the pool and for it to once again become a hub for the community.

"At the time of closure there should have been an opportunity to recognise this and preserve the building for the future," said Miss Murfin.

"There was support from the community to save the pool from further deterioration after its closure and subsequent neglect, but sadly many break-ins and the removal of the roof tiles resulted in a further rapid decline of this once beautiful example of Denning's work."

The developer, Crossman Homes has put forward a proposal for 31 apartments, comprising mainly of one and two-bedroom apartments. The development includes 15 parking spaces, cycle stores and recycling facilities.

Simon Ellis of Crossman Homes explained that retaining the building is not financially viable due to its poor state of repair.

"This was clearly demonstrated in the recent comprehensive discussions with Bristol City Council planners where we sought to work with them to achieve a viable scheme whilst satisfying conservation requirements in terms of retaining the front elevation," explained Mr Ellis.

"After we presented a number of different options together with associated costs, the Local Planning Authority accepted that it was not feasible to retain any part of the existing building, in spite of its Local Listing status."

This isn't the first application that has been made to demolish the building. Planning permission for developments on the site was sought in 2007, 2009 and 2016. All of these either expired or were withdrawn.

 

Links to planning applications:  2017, 2016, 2009, 2007