The company in charge of running Saltdean Lido, which has just received a further £4.7m to restore the famous art deco facility, has said plans for a new leisure facility in Brighton could have ‘some impact’ on visitor numbers.
Brighton developer Copsemill Properties and Brighton and Hove City Council want to turn the former Peter Pan site on the seafront at Madeira Drive into a leisure ‘hub’.
The £3m project would house outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a gym, cafe and offices.
The proposals come just as Saltdean Lido announced plans to open to the public in the summer after investment to restore the facility.
Rebecca Crook, from the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company, said: “If the seafront scheme goes ahead it will have some impact on estimated visitor numbers for Saltdean Lido, however our project has two very different strands to it. Firstly the community hub, that this project has been driven by local need and desire and secondly the iconic importance of the building both historically and culturally. The most disappointing factor to come out of this is the fact Brighton Council, who own Saltdean Lido and indeed we are supposed to be working with, failed to share the news with us or consider the business impacts. It raises the question whether there is anyone at Brighton Council with an overarching view of all major projects in the city or simply whether they don’t care about Saltdean Lido.”
Saltdean MP Simon Kirby said he believed the plans were inappropriate considering the proximity to the lido. He said: “I am astounded at the complete lack of thought within the city council regarding this proposed outdoor swimming pool development. Only a few miles away is the Saltdean Lido, which has already been awarded millions of pounds in funding, has an existing infrastructure, a huge amount of community support and a business plan that is viable for the long-term.”
Brighton and Hove City cllr Geoffrey Bowden explained why other parties had not been informed. He said: “The information was confidential and was not made public until the release of the report, we continue to meet regularly with the Saltdean Lido CIC and to support their work to re-open the Lido. The project to be considered at the former Peter Pan site on Madeira drive has a different offer as a hub for open water swimmers and sports related businesses and it is not considered to impact on the Saltdean Lido which would have a different mix of activities.”
The plans were to be discussed at the council’s economic development and culture committee meeting as the Express went to press on Thursday.
The money for Saltdean Lido will be spent on restoring the outside area and pools as well as creating a community hub.
The swimming pools are expected to be open for visitors from June 2015 on a temporary basis with cold water, having been closed for three years. The facility is Grade II listed and has been vacant since 2011. It is on the English Heritage At Risk Register.
The restoration will see a heated outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor play areas, cafe, gym, community and function room and a revived library.
For more information visit http://saltdeanlido.co.uk/