Friday, October 9, 2015

Floating swimming pool *IN* Greenland Dock now into consultation, which closes in four days!

If you feel as strongly as I do that this is a terrible idea, you need to act now.

Back in May I posted that Southwark Borough Council’s leisure contractor Fusion wants to install a permanent floating heated swimming pool, measuring 40m x 20m (125 ft x 65 feet ), at Surrey Docks Watersports Centre in Greenland Dock.  The operating hours of the pool are expected to be from 6am to 10pm.  This will place it immediately in the vicinity of the Rope Street apartments and opposite Tavistock Tower and the dock-facing houses and apartments of Russia Court East.

It has been brought to my attention that the status on the Southwark Council planning page for this development proposal has been changed, and that as of 21 September we are apparently in a formal consultation period with respect to these plans. The website says that the consultation only runs until 14 October - 4 days away!  I live immediately opposite the planned swimming pool and I am furious that I have not been notified by Southwark Council that the formal consultation has been opened.  Where are the presentations and meetings that should go along with the formal consultation??

It is very important that if you have objections you make them now by leaving your comments on the Comments page at:

If allowed to go ahead it would be incredibly noisy with the sound of screaming kids carrying over the water.  Given the Dock's acoustics, the noise from the pool (and there WILL be a LOT of noise) will be amplified and bounced around all houses surrounding the dock.  It is going to be terribly ugly too, an artificial appendage with ghastly-looking shower blocks.  And there will be endless problems with traffic to add to those that will be caused by the new development behind the watersports centre and the one planned for South Dock that will have blocks of 20, 15, 8 and 3 storeys.  What is more, a new, state of the art swimming pool / aqua centre is part of the first phase of the British Land Masterplan proposals on the land close to the Tesco carpark, so what on earth is the need?

There are much wider considerations too, which are detailed in several negative and lengthy objections on the site, of which one is mine. But so far there are only two pages of comments (some of which are in favour of it) and we need many more objections to be submitted for them to be taken into consideration.

I worry, for one thing, that an open air heated pool (ludicrously energy-wasting) will be unusable in the winter or on poor days, at which time a tarpaulin or other temporary structure will be fitted over the entire lot.  Once this has been installed for a while it will be seen as tacit acceptance of a closed structure in the dock and a permanent structure will be built over the top of it, so that there will be an actual floating building in the dock!  With these proposals it's not just the immediate horror of the initial planning permission that has to be considered - the future possible planning implications need to be thought through as well.

The planning details are:  15/AP/1752 | Installation of a 40m by 20m floating, self supporting swimming pool in Greenland Dock. Greenland Dock, Watersports Centre, Rope Street, London, SE16 7SX.  The Case Officer is Dipesh Patel. Full documentation and other details are on Southwark Council's website at:

The documents for the case are at:

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