CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Temple Cowley Pools have applied to make the site an asset of community value.

Save Temple Cowley Pools now has six months to find the cash to buy the site, which Oxford City Council is hoping to sell for £1.5m.

The city council confirmed that no offers on the Temple Road site will be accepted until after the six-month period has expired, but said it is not anticipated to delay the sale process.

Save Temple Cowley Pools’ Nigel Gibson, pictured, told the Oxford Mail the group is prepared to submit a bid to buy the pool.

He said: “We have nominated it as an asset of community value simply because of the massive support from the whole of the community.

“There is a list of criteria. We have to show it has been in use, which it has been, and that it could be run in the future. It is all community based. If we are successful in the nomination then we can put forward a right to bid to take it over. We want to put a bid together.

“We would then be looking to the city council to do the right thing and put it on the asset register.”

The £1.5m the city council hopes to raise from the sale of the site will help fund the new £9.23m leisure complex in Blackbird Leys.

Work on the multi-million pound swimming complex next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road, is expected to finish by December. But campaigners say Temple Cowley should be refurbished, while the council argues this would only extend its life by two years.

The Temple Road site is earmarked for about 26 properties, half of which would be affordable.

Louisa Dean, Oxford City Council spokeswoman, said: “We don’t anticipate it to delay the process.

“We are undertaking a process of selecting a development partner to help deliver the regeneration of the Temple Cowley pool site. As part of the selection process the site is being openly marketed.

“The interested parties have been asked to make their submissions to the council by today, via our agents.

“The council understands that a local group proposes to submit an offer to the council in accordance with the marketing programme for this site. The council has also received a nomination for the site to be designated as an asset of community value, which triggers a statutory process that will be adhered to by the council.”


History of campaign

July 2011: Planning permission is granted for the new pool in Blackbird Leys.
August 2011: Residents mount a town green application to try to protect part of the land.
October 2011: The Save Temple Cowley Pools (STCP) group says it will launch a judicial review to fight the decision.
March 2012: The town green application is rejected but its decision is challenged with a judicial review.
August 2012: The High Court throws out the judicial review challenge.
December 2012: A second judicial review is thrown out.
March 2013: The appeal is dropped.
March 2014: The STCP group nominates the site to be designated as an asset of community value.