WHILE many have rejoiced at the news that Abingdon's Abbey Meadow outdoor pool is set to reopen next month following a £1.3m revamp, some seem less than impressed with the upgrade.

Children's author Paul Gustafson said he was ‘horrified’ when he saw the swimming spot had been covered in white tiles rather than the pale blue in an artist’s impression, insisting they would be more appropriate for a ‘toilet or public house’.

Mr Gustafson, who led a successful campaign to save Oxford’s Hinksey Pool in 1997, said: “Everyone knows an outdoor pool should have blue tiles because it reflects back into the water and makes it an inviting colour.

“Now, without any consultation, the district council have chosen white tiles on a million-pound project. If people are met with an anaemic pool when it reopens and are unhappy it will be too late.”

He added: “There is a plan of the outdoor pool screwed to the wall in front of the swimming pool,the map clearly shows a picture of a blue swimming pool, so why have they tiled it with black and white tiles?”

The South Abingdon resident, known to many as the creator of the Eggbert children's books, said he had asked ‘hundreds’ of children and parents what colour a pool should be and everyone had said blue.

Peter Harbour, from the Friends of Abbey Meadow Outdoor Pool, said he didn’t have any criticism of the tile colour but admitted: “I think there could have been more consultation, especially as there is so much public interest. It would have been nice to see.

“I do believe the contractors and the council are doing a good job and if it as well done as the Abbey Meadow play park, which is magnificent, then we will be very pleased.”

Work started on the major refurbishment by Vale of White Horse District Council in September, with the authority announcing last week it would officially reopen to the public on June 16.

A Vale spokeswoman said: “The majority of swimming pools – both outdoor and indoor - have a white finish. The previous swimming pool at the site had a white tank -  and the water appeared blue.”