I thought people might be interested to see the recently submitted planning application for the refurbishment of the Hampton Pool. All docs and details are on Richmond Borough website under 16/3434/FUL.

From the Design, Access & Heritage Statement:

The Pool is not being touched with the facility to stay operational throughout the refurbishment with minimal downtime. The provision of a new building allows for a decanting space to give back space to swimmers and to put swimming at the heart of the project.

Opportunities:
• Decant the gym, fitness studio and staff facilities out of the existing building increasing the changing room facilities.
• Refurbish the existing building to a high standard.
• Install a lift to provide access for all to the roof top café overlooking Bushy Park.
• Enlarge the café to deliver a covered area which will provide an open air shelter from the elements.
• Build new gym and fitness studios adjacent to the deep end with room around fitness equipment to accommodate wheelchairs.
• Install new insulation and plant to reduce water and energy usage.
• Reduce carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency

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Hmmm brilliant idea. Get the Royal Parks to give up 2 acres of pristine nature enhancing green space for a private car park ?



Bill Rosborough said:

This is a fantastic development/proposal but reading the objections there is clearly an issue with parking.
Bushy Park is 1,100 acres in size, can't they donate maybe 2 acres adjacent to the pool for car parking
If so, job done.
Ask for 2 and hope for 1, isn't that pristine nature enhancing green space part of Bushy Park (at the far end of the car park) inaccessible to the public?

jen said:

Hmmm brilliant idea. Get the Royal Parks to give up 2 acres of pristine nature enhancing green space for a private car park ?



Bill Rosborough said:

This is a fantastic development/proposal but reading the objections there is clearly an issue with parking.
Bushy Park is 1,100 acres in size, can't they donate maybe 2 acres adjacent to the pool for car parking
If so, job done.
Yes it's inaccessible to the public. Not for the wildlife. Assume that's on purpose.



Bill Rosborough said:
Ask for 2 and hope for 1, isn't that pristine nature enhancing green space part of Bushy Park (at the far end of the car park) inaccessible to the public?

jen said:

Hmmm brilliant idea. Get the Royal Parks to give up 2 acres of pristine nature enhancing green space for a private car park ?



Bill Rosborough said:

This is a fantastic development/proposal but reading the objections there is clearly an issue with parking.
Bushy Park is 1,100 acres in size, can't they donate maybe 2 acres adjacent to the pool for car parking
If so, job done.

Yes, if that is what they are relying on, I guess the project is pretty much doomed
 jen said:

Hmmm brilliant idea. Get the Royal Parks to give up 2 acres of pristine nature enhancing green space for a private car park ?



Bill Rosborough said:

This is a fantastic development/proposal but reading the objections there is clearly an issue with parking.
Bushy Park is 1,100 acres in size, can't they donate maybe 2 acres adjacent to the pool for car parking
If so, job done.

I think that bit is the Brewhouse Fields, which is being developed as a wetland for birds and other assorted wildlife (hence inaccessible). Regardless, it would probably require an Act of Parliament for a Royal Park to divest a landholding (I'm being a bit facetious, but I suspect it would be a palaver, and RP wouldn't want to set a precedent).

As a general comment, I do find it interesting how so many planning controversies founder on parking. It's almost as if there's an upper limit on the complexity or utility of projects because they can't support the cars, e.g. Hampton Pool can't upgrade its gym because it will become popular and there won't be anywhere to park the cars. The arguments against are more sophisticated than that, I know (I'm just illustrating the point). Just seems frustrating and backwards to me.

It is worthwhile putting the parking issue into perspective,  but look at it alongside how people use the pool and what the development will provide for the community.

When the pool was reopened in 1985 as a heated open air pool it was a seasonal, summer only facility.  The Trust soon realised that this was not a sustainable business model and soon opened at Christmas, then the autumn, and then created the gym.  The gym being the only source of revenue during the winter months.

It wasn’t until 1995 that the pool opened 365 days per year.  In 2004 the pool was rebuilt , the roof renewed, and in 2006 the building was refurbished and the studio created.  The gym and studio, both popular with the local community, now provide vital income, all year round, but particularly in the winter months.  This extra income from the gym and studio contributes to the funds along with the associated café revenue, which in turn allows the pool to stay open all year round for swimming.

The pool can be very busy on hot sunny days in the summer. People often come to the pool and stay all afternoon. Many come and go. However, the pool is not so busy during the winter months when gyms and exercise studios tend to have higher usage.

Usage of the gym and studio is variable throughout the day. It is envisaged , for instance, that increasing the size of the studio to the minimum sizes recommend by Sports England will allow an increase in class sizes from the current maximum of 10 people upto 15 to 20 people depending on activity.  An increase of up to 10 people at a time.  This will make the studio more viable and will help sustain the pool through the winter months.  This would not have a significant impact on parking, and cannot be compared to that of a busy summers day.  In addition there will be plenty of new cycle racks for local the community to use.

"In addition there will be plenty more secure cycle racks for local the community to use."

This should be key. Generally any adult Hampton resident could (and should?) cycle or walk to the facilities. Disability aside, I see no reason why someone who is trying to (I assume) be healthy would drive. Reminds me of a picture of a gym in America that has escalators leading to its front entrance.

The cycle facilities should be 'very' secure, preferably in a locked area.

Clearly cycling / walking may not be so easy with kids and the mobility impaired, but how many of these will be using the new studio / gym facilities?

Arachnae

I have been swimming at the pool for 30 years and when the trust asked for help back in 2000 I volunteered to help and joined the board as technical director.  At that time some people thought the pool may close again as it had failed in its lottery funding bid in 1995 and the pool and building were deteriorating rapidly.

I was part of the project team that in 2004, “saved the pool again”,  by rebuilding the pool, renewing the roof to make the building watertight.  Then in 2006 refurbished the building inside, refurbished the gym in 2007 and refurbished the changing rooms in 2010.  As a result of these works and in conjunction with the professional management team from the YMCA the pool has gone from strength to strength, providing a much wider range of classes and swim lessons, plus longer pool opening hours.

Saving this pool didn’t stop in 1985 it is a continual process.

Looking to the future, the current plans, developed at the request of the Hampton Pool Trust members and in consultation with those members, the various user groups, the wider community and customers, look to  ensure the survival of the pool for the long term future. 



Arachnae said:

Grahame H

I am wondering whether you are in fact one of the promoters of the project, in which  case perhaps you could say what you role in it is?

The fact is that rather than just "fake news", "misinformation" or "negative comment" (thanks, by the way, for belittling those who happen not to agree with you) there are 116 formal objections on Richmond's planning portal (one of which is mine) and only 21 notes of support. People should read this and make up their own minds rather than just accept the "puff piece" at the top of this article
 
Grahame H said:

The vast majority of the 6000 regular users are in support of the project. But as with any development project there will be some who don’t want to see change.
Regrettably, there has been some misinformation and “fake news” about the development distributed around the neighbourhood, causing unrest in the community and the negative comments mentioned above. However, many of these comments are totally unfounded and speculative.

To have a closer look at the plans take a look at the Hampton Pool development website http://www.hamptonpooltrust.org.uk/development/

As an overview, The pool stays at the heart of the development, the existing building is refurbished and remodelled to improve existing changing facilities and provide much needed family changing facilities.

A new reception and a lift to the 1st floor will provide full accessibility to the sundeck café where there will be a covered seating over half the roof. Let’s not forget the 1960s building was designed for a 3-4 month summer season!! But now Hampton Pool is open all year round and needs to cater for all the customers, in all weather conditions.

I totally appreciate the community group who saved the pool back in the 1980’s, some of that group were responsible for making the current gym and the studio, both of which have helped with “dryside income” to help the pool stay open throughout the low swim season, from autumn to spring. Both of these facilities are in constant use and class sizes are frequently maxed out. Accessibility is limited in both the gym and studio they need upgrading to make them suitable and viable for the future.

The new DDA compliant full accessible gym, studios and office facilities will be built on derelict, unused land at the est end of the site. These new activity areas, will generate additional income in the low season when gym and studio use is greater and swimming is reduced, therefore it will have little impact on the local community in respect to traffic and parking.

It is true, Hampton Pool has a unique character but it has changed over the years to keep pace with the times. In 1922 it started out as a 25 yard pool, in 1939 it was extended to 40 yards. In 1960 it was widened and the current building was constructed, since then, apart from some refurbishment and maintenance, there have been no significant facility changes., essentially it has stood still.

No one is building a leisure centre or David Lloyd Club. This project looks to secure the longterm security of the pool by providing fully accessible and up to date facilities for the community.

Thank you for clarifying. I still don't agree with your approach, but am not for a moment questioning your sincerity in pursuing it.
 
Grahame H said:

Arachnae

I have been swimming at the pool for 30 years and when the trust asked for help back in 2000 I volunteered to help and joined the board as technical director.  At that time some people thought the pool may close again as it had failed in its lottery funding bid in 1995 and the pool and building were deteriorating rapidly.

I was part of the project team that in 2004, “saved the pool again”,  by rebuilding the pool, renewing the roof to make the building watertight.  Then in 2006 refurbished the building inside, refurbished the gym in 2007 and refurbished the changing rooms in 2010.  As a result of these works and in conjunction with the professional management team from the YMCA the pool has gone from strength to strength, providing a much wider range of classes and swim lessons, plus longer pool opening hours.

Saving this pool didn’t stop in 1985 it is a continual process.

Looking to the future, the current plans, developed at the request of the Hampton Pool Trust members and in consultation with those members, the various user groups, the wider community and customers, look to  ensure the survival of the pool for the long term future. 



Arachnae said:

Grahame H

I am wondering whether you are in fact one of the promoters of the project, in which  case perhaps you could say what you role in it is?

The fact is that rather than just "fake news", "misinformation" or "negative comment" (thanks, by the way, for belittling those who happen not to agree with you) there are 116 formal objections on Richmond's planning portal (one of which is mine) and only 21 notes of support. People should read this and make up their own minds rather than just accept the "puff piece" at the top of this article
 
Grahame H said:

The vast majority of the 6000 regular users are in support of the project. But as with any development project there will be some who don’t want to see change.
Regrettably, there has been some misinformation and “fake news” about the development distributed around the neighbourhood, causing unrest in the community and the negative comments mentioned above. However, many of these comments are totally unfounded and speculative.

To have a closer look at the plans take a look at the Hampton Pool development website http://www.hamptonpooltrust.org.uk/development/

As an overview, The pool stays at the heart of the development, the existing building is refurbished and remodelled to improve existing changing facilities and provide much needed family changing facilities.

A new reception and a lift to the 1st floor will provide full accessibility to the sundeck café where there will be a covered seating over half the roof. Let’s not forget the 1960s building was designed for a 3-4 month summer season!! But now Hampton Pool is open all year round and needs to cater for all the customers, in all weather conditions.

I totally appreciate the community group who saved the pool back in the 1980’s, some of that group were responsible for making the current gym and the studio, both of which have helped with “dryside income” to help the pool stay open throughout the low swim season, from autumn to spring. Both of these facilities are in constant use and class sizes are frequently maxed out. Accessibility is limited in both the gym and studio they need upgrading to make them suitable and viable for the future.

The new DDA compliant full accessible gym, studios and office facilities will be built on derelict, unused land at the est end of the site. These new activity areas, will generate additional income in the low season when gym and studio use is greater and swimming is reduced, therefore it will have little impact on the local community in respect to traffic and parking.

It is true, Hampton Pool has a unique character but it has changed over the years to keep pace with the times. In 1922 it started out as a 25 yard pool, in 1939 it was extended to 40 yards. In 1960 it was widened and the current building was constructed, since then, apart from some refurbishment and maintenance, there have been no significant facility changes., essentially it has stood still.

No one is building a leisure centre or David Lloyd Club. This project looks to secure the longterm security of the pool by providing fully accessible and up to date facilities for the community.

How is it known that this proposal has majority support of pool users. This is far from explicit.

The support evident in public media sites (e.g. RUT planning site) shows support for improving and upgrading the current building. If you ask the right question, you get the answer you want.

"Do you want the current facilities to be upgraded?"

This is an obvious and trivial question which the answer would of course be yes. 

Getting yes to a question about the upgrade being such a massive over development and change of style at the pool is a different thing altogether. 

The facilities can be upgraded without impinging so violently on the immediate surroundings of residential roads, parkland and SSSI.

It is disingenuous for the pool management to think that all the apparent support they claim for the proposal is actually support for what is planned. 

There should be an alternative which is not out of keeping with the surroundings.

John

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