Health and safety concerns hit new St Albans swimming pool plans - UPDATED

POOL campaigners could face an even bigger battle over Westminster Lodge after the district council called an urgent meeting of its cabinet tomorrow morning (Friday) to reconsider the controversial scheme.

It follows health and safety concerns about the swimming pool to be incorporated in the new leisure centre scheme which is being built on the Westminster Lodge frontage.

Not only is the council having to consider levelling off the depth of the pool so it is at a shallow depth safe for children but in light of the restriction, it is also to consider making it open air.

The concern is that with a purely shallow pool, it will get far less use and would only be really viable during the school summer holidays.

In the proposal’s favour, this would increase the pool’s lifetime through a lack of daily wear and tear, and leaving off the roof would mean a huge saving on the capital cost of the scheme.

Any change in the scheme will mean further renegotiations with contractors Willmott Dixon which has started work on the site.

For protestors like the PoolTooSmall group, formed to push for a larger pool in the scheme, the proposal will be a body blow to their campaign.

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Council spokesperson Olla Fripo said: “We have been left with no option but to look again at the pool in light of the Health and Safety Executive’s concerns. The council has to weigh-up how popular a shallow pool will be and whether or not it is worth having it open all year.”

Sorry, this story was an April Fool’s joke. Hope you weren’t caught out!