Campaigners vow to fight on as as Oxford City Council put Temple Cowley Pools up for sale (From The Oxford Times)
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Campaigners vow to fight on as as Oxford City Council put Temple Cowley Pools up for sale
CAMPAIGNERS yesterday vowed to fight on to keep Temple Cowley Pools open after council bosses put it up for sale.
Oxford City Council yesterday said it had put the Temple Road location - the site of a pool since the 1930s - on the market for housing.
This will ensure a “smooth transition” to its multi-million pound Blackbird Leys replacement, it said.
But Save Temple Cowley Pools’ Nigel Gibson said: “It is extremely disappointing that the council continues to ignore the needs of so many people in East Oxford for which Temple Cowley Pools is essential to their quality of life and fitness.
“We are putting in our seventh petition at the next full council meeting which shows the strength of feeling about this.”
He said the fight is “not over” as councillors will still need to approve or reject a planning application for homes. The site has been earmarked for about 26 properties, half of which would be affordable.
Work is expected to finish by December on a new swimming complex next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road.
Campaigners say Temple Cowley should be refurbished but the council said this would only extend its life by two years.
The new facility will feature an eight-lane, 25-metre pool and teaching pool.
The campaign group will consider using new laws to try and stop the sale.
The Localism Act 2011 means councils can designate buildings and facilities as a “community asset”.
This could put sale of land on hold six months so the community can raise cash to bid for the site. Mr Gibson said: “We are aware of the community asset legislation and we will look at that.”
Council executive board member for leisure services Mike Rowley said: “The site is being advertised now to ensure that there is enough time for the consultation and any planning issues that arise to be sorted out.
“The sale process has been designed to ensure that the council gets best value for the people of Oxford, as well as ensuring a well-designed scheme.
“We want the site to provide affordable housing and we will be working with the developer who purchases the site to ensure that this happens.”
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