AFTER months of legal discussions, Saltdean Lido is being handed back to Brighton and Hove Council by the businessman who leased the Grade 2-star listed building in return for an undisclosed sum.
A decision to take back the property was made at a special policy and resources committee meeting of the council when it accepted the lessee’s offer to vacate the property with immediate effect in return for a financial settlement.
The news follows a long-running campaign by residents, concerned at the deteriorating building and its opening times, for it to be returned to the council.
MP Simon Kirby, who supported the Save Saltdean Lido campaign, said: “This is a very promising step and hopefully now we will see progress on making the Saltdean Lido the thriving community asset it should be. I am confident this is the first step in securing a viable future for the Lido.
“Congratulations must go to the Save Saltdean Lido campaign group, local ward councillors and everyone involved for all their effort to reach this position.”
The council said the Lido could not be opened until legal processes were completed but it was looking at temporary arrangements to ensure access was available as soon as possible and the library and community centre were not affected.
It is likely to put the facility out to tender, seeking either a new lessee with obligations to ensure the building and pool are well maintained and regularly opened, or a contractor prepared to provide services to an agreed specification.
Councillor in charge of economic development and culture Geoffrey Bowden said: “I was determined to find a solution to this longstanding issue and am very pleased that we have.
“It was a very complicated matter, which has been resolved through the dogged determination of dedicated officers working carefully within the constraints of the law and recognising the rights of all sides at all times.
“Local residents have demonstrated the depth of affection there is for this iconic 1930s building.
“Now the building is about to be handed back to the council, we will be working with the community to find the best way to ensure that this beautiful seaside Lido can be maintained and kept accessible for local people.”
The change is still subject to legal agreement between the two parties.