21st March 1990
Bulldozers Set To Level Resort Pool
One of Wirral’s most famous landmarks – New Brighton’s outdoor swimming pool – looks doomed.
Borough engineers have found serious structural damage following recent storms which battered the resort’s unique art deco pool.
Merseyside Development Corporation have consulted with Wirral Council engineers and have found that extensive damage has been caused to both the structure and its foundation.
The investigation has also confirmed engineers’ suspicious that the shallow foundations in sand and the scouring effect of the waves have weakened a much greater area.
This means that two large sections of the bath’s perimeter wall have already had to be demolished in the interest if public safety.
MDC have reaffirmed their commitment to bathing facilities at New Brighton, and the possible development of a water theme leisure park on site. They estimate that the cost of restoring the baths would cost £5.8 million and neither the council nor MDC are convinced that the work is feasible.
Sally Davies, spokesman for the Save New Brighton Baths Campaign, said that they accepted that much of the baths were beyond repair, but they still thought that the site could be used as an outdoor bathing facility.
She said: “There are a plethora of indoor swimming pools in Wirral. It is essential that we keep an outdoor facility.
“Although we accept there are structural problems with the existing building, we would like to see the pool site used for community activities, a gym club, luncheon club and community centre, for example.
“A community survey paid for by the MDC said there is a dearth of facilities for both senior citizens and the 13-17 age group. The pool site would be large enough to provide facilities for both.
“We are providing the MDC with ideas but we can’t provide the money. That should be their job.”
Council officers and MDC officials met last night to review the situation and an announcement is expected shortly.
Passers by survey the damage caused by the storms which ripped up sea defences and burst through the open-air pool's rear wall.
24th March 1990
End Of The Line For New Brighton Pool
Merseyside Development Corporation has finally sealed the fate of the storm-battered New Brighton bathing pool – and demolition should be completed within a few weeks.
But Tony Potter, MDC director of development, declared last night: “We think the future for New Brighton is brighter than for more than 20 years. There has been a lot of talk and very little action – we are trying ti reverse that.”
After the MDC finally buried any prospects of saving the crumbling complex Mr Potter said: My board feels very strongly that while we don’t want to do anything against what Wirral Council is saying, we can’t afford to play semi-politics with public safety.”
Wirral Labour group refuses to acknowledge that demolition is the only answer.
Members have produced their own plans to transform the complex into a major sports and leisure facility for Merseyside.
But Mr Potter insisted: “We have to demolish the building because it is unsafe.”
And he pledged that MDC would use its best endeavours to try to get a public swimming facility in any redevelopment project at the site.
The MDC board also gave the go-ahead for a revamp of New Brighton marine lake which involves raising the height of the sea wall, increasing the depth of the lake and creating a small car park at its eastern end.
Jetskiers and sailboard enthusiast protested because it will mean a reduction in the size of the lake.
Mr Potter said :”The loss of the water area is only 10pc and the sandy beach from the vicinity of the causeway.”
Mr Potter did not rule out a marine lake project put forward by John Lamb, architect of the immensely successful beach nourishment scheme at New Brighton.
Mr Lamb’s scheme envisages construction of a new causeway across eastern third of the lake, which would allow the creation of a curved sandy bay within the confines of the lake.
He claimed that the bay, sheltered from prevailing winds, would provide a suntrap, similar to marine lake beaches constructed in Holland.
He said: “The sand would help mask the harsh concrete lines of the marine lake and treble the amount of promenade/beach at the heart of the resort.
“I wouldn’t rule out something like that being done in the long term. But we can’t go in for the major surgery implied by this scheme until we have decided the development market for New Brighton.