St Albans Westminster Lodge pool under scrutiny

A RE-EXAMINATION of the steps which led up to the granting of planning permission for a new Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans is being taken by councillors later this month.

But even though the overview and scrutiny (public services) committee can take a fresh look at the scheme and make recommendations about how it was handled, it does not have the power to overturn the planning permission which was granted in April on the casting vote of the chairman. A number of concerns were raised about the proposed eight-lane size of the new pool in the run-up to the planning decision with a strong lobby calling for it to be larger.

Objectors were given a chance to make their protest at the planning meeting which gave the go-ahead to the scheme even though technically the size of the pool was not a planning issue.

At the overview and scrutiny (public services) committee on Monday, July 19, representatives of the pressure group PoolTooSmall will be making a presentation.

Chairman Cllr Julian Daly, said: “The redevelopment of Westminster Lodge is a very significant project but members of the public have questioned the adequacy of the proposed water provision. I am keen that the overview and scrutiny committee has an opportunity to consider this challenge and conclude if it is valid or not.”

The committee has the power to call in for reconsideration of decisions made but not yet implemented by the cabinet. It can also summon cabinet members and council officers to answer questions.

The meeting in the civic offices starts at 7pm and members of the public are welcome but cannot raise issues on the night. Instead they can put forward questions and points of view in advance, either by sending an email to or in a letter to Ian Seres, scrutiny support officer, at St Albans council by July 15.