Sunday, August 15, 2010


Bridgwater’s much-loved Town Centre swimming pool, ‘The Splash’ was closed by Sedgemoor District Council at the end of August 2009. Soon after, they demolished it and pursued plans for what we believe would be a poorly-sited and inferior replacement, alongside a re-built Chilton Trinity school.

For a year, we have been fighting hard to persuade the Council to do the right thing, admit its mistake, and re-build a town centre pool as part of the Northgate development. Not only would this be far more accessible and sustainable, but it would also give a massive boost to help regenerate the town centre.

When the Government put the Chilton Trinity Building Schools for the Future project ‘on hold,’ it seemed that the out-of-town pool project was dead. Now it has been revived, but Bridgwater Forward is STILL not impressed with the plan: nothing has changed our view!

We predict that Sedgemoor District Council, with the panic of possible cancellation of Chilton Trinity over, will now continue to insist to the people of Bridgwater and the surrounding villages that there is no alternative to an out-of-town pool.

Why do we say that is nonsense?

• Firstly, Sedgemoor originally agreed to replace the Splash as the centre piece of the Northgate development following extensive public consultation and advice from its own consultants!

• Secondly, Sedgemoor stands to gain from the sale of another massive land asset, the old Bath Road Cattle Market site;

• Thirdly, both Tesco and French nuclear energy company EDF expressed an interest in funding a pool as a part of successful planning negotiations: Whilst both companies may receive a frosty welcome from some quarters, Sedgemoor have, so far, turned their backs on exploring these possibilities. Why?

Bridgwater Forward says that there IS an alternative to a second-rate out-of-town Chilton Trinity Pool!

Sedgemoor District Council has NEVER properly consulted local people on:

• whether the Splash should have been closed and demolished this time last year;

• whether the replacement pool should now be out-of-town rather than in the town centre at Northgate;

• whether the Northgate development should include a supermarket if this would provide funding to build and run a new Pool at Northgate.

Bridgwater Forward challenges Sedgemoor to admit that there is STILL a choice of sites for a new swimming pool, and, by means of a properly-conducted local poll, to let the people decide where it should be built. We believe that voters would choose the town centre Northgate site. Is Sedgemoor afraid of this result?

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