The Cleveland Pools Trust have just secured planning approval and listed buildings consent to restore the 200 year-old Georgian pools in Bathwick which have been closed for swimming since 1984.
The vote was 6-2 in favour and came with a recommendation for the Cleveland Pools trustees to meet with the neighbours, who have objected to certain elements of the plans, and work with them to allay their concerns.
After nearly thirteen years of campaigning by the Cleveland Pools Trust chairman Ann Dunlop, it was a satisfying moment for her in particular when Cllr Rob Appleyard (Lambridge Ward) put forward his recommendation to approve the plans, seconded by Cllr Caroline Roberts.
Ann attended the meeting with her husband David, and two of her seven trustees – Ina Harris and Sally Helvey.
Dennis Toogood, also came along to speak in support of the Cleveland Pools Trust’s application along with David Barnes, one of the architects in the design team, from Donald Insall Associates, and the Trust’s Project Director Christopher Heath who has worked so incredibly hard over the past few months to bring everything together to enable the Trust get to this point.
Mr Toogood mentioned in his short speech the recent Swimathon carried out by the Bath Dolphin Swimming Club and seven swim schools in the B&NES area which raised over £12,000 for the Trust – proof that the swimming community of Bath is truly behind the Cleveland Pools. This appeared to impress many of the committee, and certainly those who are not already familiar with this riverside heritage site which had been defunct for so long.
Although the planning approval is a major milestone for the Cleveland Pools Trust, there is still much work to be done before the Heritage Lottery Fund release the allocated Stage II funding for the site, to ensure restoration work gets underway early next year, and they still have £155,000 of their £600,000 matchfunding target to raise.
Chairman Ann Dunlop says: “We can’t relax quite yet but I remain positive and reassured that there are so many good people behind us willing to stick with the programme and help us deliver this project for Bath’s community – hopefully within the next two years. I am enormously grateful to the trustees, design team, project director, advisors, and all our loyal supporters, and would like to say a big thank you to them all for helping us get to this point”.
If you would like to learn more about the Cleveland Pools, and meet some of the people behind this remarkable heritage project, they will be in Parade Gardens for World Heritage Day on Sunday 23rd April (11am til 3pm).
There will be an historic display, fun and games for children, and a free tour to the Pools for those of you who haven’t yet seen this unique outdoor venue built during the Jane Austen era.