Public meeting to air concerns about new lido

3 February 2012

PEOPLE concerned about plans for the new Afan Lido swimming pool and sports centre have called a public meeting to air their worries.

The meeting, to which local councillors and the press have been invited, will be held at the Four Winds Hotel on Aberavon seafront on Tuesday, February 28, at 7.30pm. It has been arranged by Aberavon Surf Life Saving Club.

As it was: the old Afan Lido awaiting demolition. Photo: Mike Witchell

“At a recent meeting we unanimously decided to call a public meeting to inform the people of Port Talbot of our serious misgivings on the proposed new Afan Lido,” said committee member Robbie Phillips.

“We met council officers in October, and they said they would consider a possible spectator gallery for the pool, but no other changes to the plans would be considered.”

Proposals have been unveiled by Neath Port Talbot Council for a £13.6 million complex, including a 25-metre pool, to replace the lido which was gutted by fire in December 2009 and which has now been demolished.

“We want the public to realise it is proposed that we will have a six-lane – not eight-lane – main pool, with no learner pool provision,” said Mr Phillips.

“New pools in Carmarthen and Haverfordwest boast eight-lane pools, with learner pools and spectator galleries.”

He added: “The new centre will have retail and business outlets – but this approach has failed in the past.

“Various clubs and individuals have expressed concerns regarding the size of the pool, lack of spectator facilities, and facilities regarding the sports centre including karate, football, badminton and so on.
“Why should we have less than we had before? Why do other towns and villages in South and West Wales have better facilities than us?

“Please come along and voice your opinions and concerns to your councillors. This is for the future generations of Port Talbot – once the complex has been built, it will be too late.”

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Ian Shakeshaft says:

Competitive diving is undergoing a long-term revival in popularity but there is an acute shortage of facilities in Wales, with just 3 Swim Wales teaching centres. Ironically the national pool in Swansea was designed without diving provision yet the original Lido was fully equipped. Where is the vision of NPT council in exploiting this growing trend for the wider benefit of the town ? This is a great investment opportunity for Port Talbot going begging in Olympic year. The last Lido ‘upgrade’ was already dated and unpopular by the time of its completion.