North Tyneside Council backs bid to refurbish Tynemouth pool but fall short of approval

A CGI image of how the pool could look. Credit: Friends of Tynemouth Pool

Planners have backed proposals to redevelop and refurbish a lido in North Tyneside.

North Tyneside Council's planning committee has given a show of support to a proposal to restore Tynemouth outdoor pool to its former glory, but stopped short of giving full planning approval.

At a meeting of the council's planning committee on 4 July, councillors announced they are "minded" to grant the go-ahead for the restoration of Tynemouth outdoor pool - however, full approval is subject to several conditions.

The lido was first opened in 1925 but closed in 1990 when a new indoor pool was opened nearby.

Councillors and members and supporters of the The Friends of Tynemouth Pool gathered at the local authority's Cobalt headquarters for the decision on the future of the long-vacant landmark.

The disused Tynemouth pool. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Friends had applied to the council for a multi-phase regeneration, starting with the creation of a 25m heated pool with temporary shipping container kiosks acting a changing rooms, refreshment stalls, and toilets.

The temporary facilities will help the pool generate income for the pool and could be in place for five years.

They also applied for permission, further down the line, to construct a permanent building to provide toilets, changing rooms, a cafe, and a gym.

The local authority has decided it is "minded" to grant the application but wants the Friends to address a number of concerns raised.

The conditions include:

  • A bio-diversity assessment using up-to-date equipment

  • A flood risk assessment using recent data

  • An updated ecological assessment

  • Updated bird surveys

As part of these conditions, the council's director of regeneration and economic development is authorised to grant planning permission providing no further matters arise that cause concern. If any matters do arise, in the opinion of the director, the application will be brought back to the planning committee for consideration.

A spokesperson for the Friends of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool, Barry Bell said: "There are lots of positives to this. We didn't get outright planning permission, but we did get the message to the council, they are minded to approve pending conditions.

"We are determined to see it through, we really do want to see the pool built and we will do everything to satisfy the committee. They are minded to grant, so we want to do everything to achieve this ambitious plan."

Councillors also voiced concerns over the financial viability of the scheme, however, Dr Anton Lang, who spoke on behalf of the Friends said such projects need to be allowed to grow and investment would be easier once permission was granted.

The pool has received huge public support, with over 1,900 positive comments on the council's website. The pool has even caught the imagination of Australian Mayor Paula Masselos, who publicly supported the redevelopment comparing the project to Bondi Beach's own outdoor pools.

More locally, councillors Lewis Bartoli, Judith Wallace, Sarah Day, and Rebecca O'Keefe, have all voiced their support for the plans.

Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell also submitted a written statement, showing his support for a new outdoor pool.

His statement reads: "I believe bringing the pool back to life would have a major impact in the local community and be an impressive next step in coastal regeneration and therefore offer my support as a local resident to the project".

Chairman of the planning committee, Cllr Willie Samuel, said: "I have listened to the contributions that have been made today by both the applicants, councillors, and the volume of representations. It is obviously very strongly felt locally and I think it's something that is finely balanced.

"I am very much minded to grant but I have a number of conditions that I have discussed over several days with officers which I think should be imposed."

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