Temple Cowley Pools campaigners want to register site as community asset

Oxford Mail: Save Temple Cowley Pools’ Nigel Gibson Buy this photo Save Temple Cowley Pools’ Nigel Gibson

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Temple Cowley Pools have applied to make the site an asset of community value.

Save Temple Cowley Pools now has six months to find the cash to buy the site, which Oxford City Council is hoping to sell for £1.5m.

The city council confirmed that no offers on the Temple Road site will be accepted until after the six-month period has expired, but said it is not anticipated to delay the sale process.

Save Temple Cowley Pools’ Nigel Gibson, pictured, told the Oxford Mail the group is prepared to submit a bid to buy the pool.

He said: “We have nominated it as an asset of community value simply because of the massive support from the whole of the community.

“There is a list of criteria. We have to show it has been in use, which it has been, and that it could be run in the future. It is all community based. If we are successful in the nomination then we can put forward a right to bid to take it over. We want to put a bid together.

“We would then be looking to the city council to do the right thing and put it on the asset register.”

The £1.5m the city council hopes to raise from the sale of the site will help fund the new £9.23m leisure complex in Blackbird Leys.

Work on the multi-million pound swimming complex next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road, is expected to finish by December. But campaigners say Temple Cowley should be refurbished, while the council argues this would only extend its life by two years.

The Temple Road site is earmarked for about 26 properties, half of which would be affordable.

Louisa Dean, Oxford City Council spokeswoman, said: “We don’t anticipate it to delay the process.

“We are undertaking a process of selecting a development partner to help deliver the regeneration of the Temple Cowley pool site. As part of the selection process the site is being openly marketed.

“The interested parties have been asked to make their submissions to the council by today, via our agents.

“The council understands that a local group proposes to submit an offer to the council in accordance with the marketing programme for this site. The council has also received a nomination for the site to be designated as an asset of community value, which triggers a statutory process that will be adhered to by the council.”

 

History of campaign

July 2011: Planning permission is granted for the new pool in Blackbird Leys.
August 2011: Residents mount a town green application to try to protect part of the land.
October 2011: The Save Temple Cowley Pools (STCP) group says it will launch a judicial review to fight the decision.
March 2012: The town green application is rejected but its decision is challenged with a judicial review.
August 2012: The High Court throws out the judicial review challenge.
December 2012: A second judicial review is thrown out.
March 2013: The appeal is dropped.
March 2014: The STCP group nominates the site to be designated as an asset of community value.

Comments (4)

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7:18am Wed 26 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

£1.5M - they should be able to manage that if each of the original 12,000 signatories, from all around the world, donate the sum of £125.

They will then be able to TUPE the existing staff over, arrange refurbishment - and probably most important of all to the SaveTCP executive, invite members of the "Fusion Six" who have been banned from the pool to join them in the pool.
£1.5M - they should be able to manage that if each of the original 12,000 signatories, from all around the world, donate the sum of £125. They will then be able to TUPE the existing staff over, arrange refurbishment - and probably most important of all to the SaveTCP executive, invite members of the "Fusion Six" who have been banned from the pool to join them in the pool. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 8

7:43pm Wed 26 Mar 14

SaveTCP says...

Would be even better if Andrew could ever keep to the facts.
The Campaign to Save Temple Cowley Pools has been running since the end of 2009, and has managed to keep the centre open for two years' longer than planned by the council. That's hundreds of thousands more visits for people to maintain their quality of life, health and fitness to a site that most people walk or cycle to. That means savings for them from not having to travel by public transport or car; savings to the environment from fewer carbon emissions. And continued operation of the most energy efficient centre of its kind in Oxford. And, contrary to the claim continually voiced by the Council, the building is structurally sound and with minimal maintenance can operate for the next 25 years.
If the Council is concerned that the new pool is at risk because they might not realise the £1.5m they say they need from the sale of the site, then they shouldn't have embarked on the project without securing funding first. Even so, over £13m for what is only a 25m competition pool (not Olympic, not 50m, no flumes, nothing special) is a profligate wasting of public money when other councils are building 4 complete leisure centres for less.
The Council is forcing a swimming pool development on Blackbird Leys without any evidence of demand, and using it as a site of convenience to provide a gift to the swimming club.
The Campaign to Save Temple Cowley Pools is supported and driven by the community across Oxford who want the only publicly funded diving pool in Oxford kept open, and to have a public health and fitness facility inside the ring road in East Oxford.
Would be even better if Andrew could ever keep to the facts. The Campaign to Save Temple Cowley Pools has been running since the end of 2009, and has managed to keep the centre open for two years' longer than planned by the council. That's hundreds of thousands more visits for people to maintain their quality of life, health and fitness to a site that most people walk or cycle to. That means savings for them from not having to travel by public transport or car; savings to the environment from fewer carbon emissions. And continued operation of the most energy efficient centre of its kind in Oxford. And, contrary to the claim continually voiced by the Council, the building is structurally sound and with minimal maintenance can operate for the next 25 years. If the Council is concerned that the new pool is at risk because they might not realise the £1.5m they say they need from the sale of the site, then they shouldn't have embarked on the project without securing funding first. Even so, over £13m for what is only a 25m competition pool (not Olympic, not 50m, no flumes, nothing special) is a profligate wasting of public money when other councils are building 4 complete leisure centres for less. The Council is forcing a swimming pool development on Blackbird Leys without any evidence of demand, and using it as a site of convenience to provide a gift to the swimming club. The Campaign to Save Temple Cowley Pools is supported and driven by the community across Oxford who want the only publicly funded diving pool in Oxford kept open, and to have a public health and fitness facility inside the ring road in East Oxford. SaveTCP
  • Score: 0

8:51am Thu 27 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

That's odd... You say £13.2M yet veteran Oxford Campaigner Sarah Lasenby has previously reminded us, in "The Oxford Mail" that the cost of the new pool is fixed at £9.23M.

Which of you is telling the truth?

As to the facts...

Is it the opinion of the SaveTCP executive that £1.5M divided by 12,000 is a figure other than £125?

You seem to have forgotten that the new pool will have a "adjustable bottom". Something that the legacy pool certainly does not have!

As to "keeping open" the diving pool. Well, that's been closed for over a decade with large red "Danger" signs helpfully placed around it.

You are also very quiet on the "Fusion Six" - what's happening with the SaveTCP member who was "banned" from the pool? Will you also be lifting the ban on the other 5 members of the "Fusion Six" list when you buy the pool?
That's odd... You say £13.2M yet veteran Oxford Campaigner Sarah Lasenby has previously reminded us, in "The Oxford Mail" that the cost of the new pool is fixed at £9.23M. Which of you is telling the truth? As to the facts... Is it the opinion of the SaveTCP executive that £1.5M divided by 12,000 is a figure other than £125? You seem to have forgotten that the new pool will have a "adjustable bottom". Something that the legacy pool certainly does not have! As to "keeping open" the diving pool. Well, that's been closed for over a decade with large red "Danger" signs helpfully placed around it. You are also very quiet on the "Fusion Six" - what's happening with the SaveTCP member who was "banned" from the pool? Will you also be lifting the ban on the other 5 members of the "Fusion Six" list when you buy the pool? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

5:36pm Wed 16 Apr 14

SaveTCP says...

Oh dear - get diverted for a moment and another troll comment pops up.

Cost of new pool - why do people not listen? We've explained this enough times - build cost of new only 25m non-Olympic not 50m no flumes basic pool - £9.23m. Cost of previous works to align existing Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre with new pool - £2.3m (which ended up being misaligned, so ended up trashing new brilliant dance studio). Additional consulting cost - £1.5m+ Total - over £13m for a pool that's intended as a 'citywide facility' (so why place it in a residential estate serviced by a single bus route?) and 'competition pool' (so the Swimming Club get a free present) - not value for money for the taxpayer....

As to numbers, no real idea what A:O is on about - is the Council asking £1.5m for the TCP site? Let us know where you got that from.

Diving pool - council's own figures show it will cost £30,000 to bring it back into use. Ask the council why they have denied the public the use of a public facility for so long. And Fusion why they don't want to make more money than they already do from TCP.

Come on, A:O, you've put forward better arguments than this before now. Try again - but please use evidence that stands up to scrutiny to justify what you say. The Campaign always has - and the Campaign continues with massive support from the general public to work to keep TCP open for the people who want health and fitness facilities, where they want and need them, in Temple Cowley.
Oh dear - get diverted for a moment and another troll comment pops up. Cost of new pool [sigh] - why do people not listen? We've explained this enough times - build cost of new only 25m non-Olympic not 50m no flumes basic pool - £9.23m. Cost of previous works to align existing Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre with new pool - £2.3m (which ended up being misaligned, so ended up trashing new brilliant dance studio). Additional consulting cost - £1.5m+ Total - over £13m for a pool that's intended as a 'citywide facility' (so why place it in a residential estate serviced by a single bus route?) and 'competition pool' (so the Swimming Club get a free present) - not value for money for the taxpayer.... As to numbers, no real idea what A:O is on about - is the Council asking £1.5m for the TCP site? Let us know where you got that from. Diving pool - council's own figures show it will cost £30,000 to bring it back into use. Ask the council why they have denied the public the use of a public facility for so long. And Fusion why they don't want to make more money than they already do from TCP. Come on, A:O, you've put forward better arguments than this before now. Try again - but please use evidence that stands up to scrutiny to justify what you say. The Campaign always has - and the Campaign continues with massive support from the general public to work to keep TCP open for the people who want health and fitness facilities, where they want and need them, in Temple Cowley. SaveTCP
  • Score: 0

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