Lobby is given six months to strike deal to buy pool

The Oxford Times: : Miah Bunyan, five, front, with aunt Kayleigh Shaw and campaigners, including Nigel Gibson, in the blue-and-white shirt, at Temple Cowley Pools Buy this photo : Miah Bunyan, five, front, with aunt Kayleigh Shaw and campaigners, including Nigel Gibson, in the blue-and-white shirt, at Temple Cowley Pools

CAMPAIGNERS have scored a victory in their fight to save Temple Cowley Pools after it was listed as an ‘asset of community value’.

The status by Oxford City Council means the Save Temple Cowley Pools group will have six months to strike a deal to buy the threatened Cowley complex before it can be sold on the open market.

The council has been planning to sell off the centre – which it says it can no longer afford to maintain – for housing, but has faced a series of legal and planning challenges from Save Temple Cowley Pools.

Nigel Gibson, who has been leading the Save Temple Cowley Pools campaign, said: “I am very pleased indeed.

“We need to discuss with the city council what their expectations are for the price and come up with something that is appropriate.”

There had been an earlier mooted valuation of £1.5m but council leader Bob Price said the council was not marketing it at a particular price but is inviting offers from developers.

Mr Gibson added: “It is not just about the money, it is about keeping the services that people need and want where they need them and want them.”

The Oxford Times:

Mayor of Oxford John Goddard is handed the petition to save the pools by Jane Alexander in 2011

 

He said he was confident the group could raise enough money through local business investment and fundraising.

Mr Gibson’s group has been working with an architect to come up with designs for how the city council’s demand for housing on the site could be accommodated along with the existing pool and a community centre. This includes an extension on the right-hand side of the building They now have until May 19 to register their interest in bidding for the site. This will trigger a six-month moratorium during which the city council cannot sell the site to anyone else.

In his decision to designate Temple Cowley Pools as an asset of community value, the city council’s head of city development Michael Crofton Briggs said it is “clearly a valuable resource to many”.

The Oxford Times:

  • The pools

He said: “As a local community group is confident it could continue to run, it can be taken to be realistic to think there can continue to be use of the building that would further the social wellbeing of the local community.”

Work is expected to finish by December on a new swimming complex next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road.

Mr Price said he would have no objection to selling the pool to Mr Gibson’s group.

Mr Price said: “It is on the market at the moment, and like any other property asset we will look at the bids and decide which one is best value for money.

“It would be consistant with local authority law for us to seek a market value for the site.

“We are certainly prepared to talk to the Save Temple Cowley Pools group, there is no harm in that, but it is a discussion which will come back to the market price. It would have no impact on the construction of Blackbird Leys Pool.”

Judith Harley of Old Temple Cowley Residents Association said: “It is very important for the local area, particularly as we have lost the Lord Nuffield sports club to the free school. I think the plan is quite realistic.”

Martin Tasker, of Middle Cowley Residents Action Group, added: “I think the pool is quite viable because it has got regular customers now and a lot of people won’t want to go to Blackbird Leys.”

The Oxford Times:

Michael Crofton Briggs

TIMELINE OF THE SAGA

January 2010 - Oxford City Council announces plans to build a new pool

August 2010 - Council officers recommend building a new pool in Blackbird Leys

Sept 2010 - The council’s executive board backs the decision to demolish Temple Cowley Pools and build the new one in Blackbird Leys

October 2010 - The council says it will push ahead with plans to close Temple Cowley Pools despite a 10,000-signature petition for it to stay

February 2011 - Opposition parties at the city council table alternative budgets to keep the Temple Cowley Pools open. Both are turned down

April 2011 - The pool in Blackbird Leys is granted planning permission, despite neighbours saying the building will be an eyesore

July 2011 - It’s given the final go-ahead and company Willmott Dixon is given the construction contract

August 2011 - The council announces the pool may miss its Olympic opening date after residents lodge a town green application for Blackbird Leys Park

October 2011 - Campaigners launch a judicial review against the decision to close Temple Cowley Pools

March 2012 - Town green application is dismissed by Oxfordshire County Council and a judicial review launched

December 2012 - Campaigners lose a court battle after a High Court judge rules in favour of the city council over the closure of Temple Cowley Pools

April 2013 - A High Court judge gives permission for a judicial review to take place over designating Blackbird Leys Park as a town green

The Oxford Times:

  • The group’s designs

May 2013 - This judicial review is dropped and the city council announces that work will start on the new pool

July 2013 - Work on Blackbird Leys Pool starts

January 2014 - Oxford City Council puts Temple Cowley Pools on the market

Comments (8)

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8:47am Thu 10 Apr 14

Geoff Roberts says...

"There had been an earlier mooted valuation of £1.5m but council leader Bob Price said the council was not marketing it at a particular price but is inviting offers from developers."

Yeah, hopefully the developers will offer to pay more for it, right? ;)

£1.5 million for something so important, £1.5 million because our council ran it into the ground. Meanwhile up the road on the business park one company has just been fined £5.6 million for bad practice and that same company has been promoting the expensive and overrated David Lloyd over TCP.
"There had been an earlier mooted valuation of £1.5m but council leader Bob Price said the council was not marketing it at a particular price but is inviting offers from developers." Yeah, hopefully the developers will offer to pay more for it, right? ;) £1.5 million for something so important, £1.5 million because our council ran it into the ground. Meanwhile up the road on the business park one company has just been fined £5.6 million for bad practice and that same company has been promoting the expensive and overrated David Lloyd over TCP. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 3

8:48am Thu 10 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

Nigel Gibson, who has been leading the Save Temple Cowley Pools campaign, said: “I am very pleased indeed.
“We need to discuss with the city council what their expectations are for the price and come up with something that is appropriate.”
What he really means is 'sell it to us on the cheap' Well NO, as a taxpayer I expect the council to get market value, and if Gibson and Co can not afford that to bad.Although they should be able to with the thousands they say support them if each put in £10,000 each, problem solved.
Nigel Gibson, who has been leading the Save Temple Cowley Pools campaign, said: “I am very pleased indeed. “We need to discuss with the city council what their expectations are for the price and come up with something that is appropriate.” What he really means is 'sell it to us on the cheap' Well NO, as a taxpayer I expect the council to get market value, and if Gibson and Co can not afford that to bad.Although they should be able to with the thousands they say support them if each put in £10,000 each, problem solved. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: -5

8:50am Thu 10 Apr 14

Geoff Roberts says...

btw Duncan Goodhew knows about TCP and gave the council line over the move to a new pool plus Mr. Goodhew instead promoted a pool in Abingdon.
btw Duncan Goodhew knows about TCP and gave the council line over the move to a new pool plus Mr. Goodhew instead promoted a pool in Abingdon. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 0

8:56am Thu 10 Apr 14

Geoff Roberts says...

HomerSimpsonDoh wrote:
Nigel Gibson, who has been leading the Save Temple Cowley Pools campaign, said: “I am very pleased indeed.
“We need to discuss with the city council what their expectations are for the price and come up with something that is appropriate.”
What he really means is 'sell it to us on the cheap' Well NO, as a taxpayer I expect the council to get market value, and if Gibson and Co can not afford that to bad.Although they should be able to with the thousands they say support them if each put in £10,000 each, problem solved.
Save Temple Cowley Pools is a group of local taxpayers though, not a profit making business.

I don't think you really care though, you're more interested in finding someway of getting one over the campaigners.

You expect the council to get market value? Right, in that case why don't they set a price instead of just opening it up the likes of Cantay Estates so they can pretend they care something about the local community and affordable housing when instead they just want to get their plans through and make a killing out of our problems.
[quote][p][bold]HomerSimpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: Nigel Gibson, who has been leading the Save Temple Cowley Pools campaign, said: “I am very pleased indeed. “We need to discuss with the city council what their expectations are for the price and come up with something that is appropriate.” What he really means is 'sell it to us on the cheap' Well NO, as a taxpayer I expect the council to get market value, and if Gibson and Co can not afford that to bad.Although they should be able to with the thousands they say support them if each put in £10,000 each, problem solved.[/p][/quote]Save Temple Cowley Pools is a group of local taxpayers though, not a profit making business. I don't think you really care though, you're more interested in finding someway of getting one over the campaigners. You expect the council to get market value? Right, in that case why don't they set a price instead of just opening it up the likes of Cantay Estates so they can pretend they care something about the local community and affordable housing when instead they just want to get their plans through and make a killing out of our problems. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 4

9:01am Thu 10 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

To get the best price, you do not set a price, you open it up to the market and highest bidder wins. I'm sure STCP has enough support (Well so I'm told, so many times on here) to match any price anyone offers. What are you scared of. I don't see you making an offer though????
To get the best price, you do not set a price, you open it up to the market and highest bidder wins. I'm sure STCP has enough support (Well so I'm told, so many times on here) to match any price anyone offers. What are you scared of. I don't see you making an offer though???? HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: -2

9:39am Thu 10 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

There are items missing on the time-line.

Looking back into "The Oxford Mail" archive...

The first major problems with the inadequacies of the current pool were reported in "The Oxford Mail" back in 1999, which resulted in the widespread illness amongst users. I recall it well having to take a colleague home from work following her lunchtime swim. She could barely leave the office toilet and was as weak as a kitten. We stood her in a giant "shredder bag" and gaffer taped it around her waist to get her home. Young children were then banned from the pool for safety reasons:-

http://www.oxfordmai
l.co.uk/archive/1999
/11/24/6634566.Babie
s_face_pool_ban_afte
r_scare/

Looking back into "The Oxford Mail" archive we find that it was back in 2006, with the first petition against private cubicles in the Temple Cowley Pools changing rooms... This petition effectively stopped the planned refurbishment of the existing pool locker room:-

http://www.oxfordmai
l.co.uk/news/753097.
Save_our_pool__say_s
wimmers/

Not forgetting late 2013

Where "The Oxford Mail" reported a member of the SaveTCP group being banned following "complaints from other users":-

http://www.oxfordmai
l.co.uk/news/1086353
4.Pools_campaigner_b
anned_from_leisure_c
entre/
There are items missing on the time-line. Looking back into "The Oxford Mail" archive... The first major problems with the inadequacies of the current pool were reported in "The Oxford Mail" back in 1999, which resulted in the widespread illness amongst users. I recall it well having to take a colleague home from work following her lunchtime swim. She could barely leave the office toilet and was as weak as a kitten. We stood her in a giant "shredder bag" and gaffer taped it around her waist to get her home. Young children were then banned from the pool for safety reasons:- http://www.oxfordmai l.co.uk/archive/1999 /11/24/6634566.Babie s_face_pool_ban_afte r_scare/ Looking back into "The Oxford Mail" archive we find that it was back in 2006, with the first petition against private cubicles in the Temple Cowley Pools changing rooms... This petition effectively stopped the planned refurbishment of the existing pool locker room:- http://www.oxfordmai l.co.uk/news/753097. Save_our_pool__say_s wimmers/ Not forgetting late 2013 Where "The Oxford Mail" reported a member of the SaveTCP group being banned following "complaints from other users":- http://www.oxfordmai l.co.uk/news/1086353 4.Pools_campaigner_b anned_from_leisure_c entre/ Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -4

3:18pm Thu 10 Apr 14

The New Private Eye says...

Over ten thousand people signed the petition, which prolonged the closure and new pool costing us thousands. Now if these the thousand really wanted to save the pool it would only cost them a couple of weeks worth of beer and fags to buy the site. That is not much really, or was it the case of people signing just to get STCP off their back.
Over ten thousand people signed the petition, which prolonged the closure and new pool costing us thousands. Now if these the thousand really wanted to save the pool it would only cost them a couple of weeks worth of beer and fags to buy the site. That is not much really, or was it the case of people signing just to get STCP off their back. The New Private Eye
  • Score: 4

9:18pm Tue 15 Apr 14

SaveTCP says...

Hmm. Same old trolls. Same old tired rumours with no substance based on evidence that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

The Campaign, and separately the opposition in Blackbird Leys when people realised what was being landed on them without any evidence of demand, has kept TCP operational. This is what people want. And over 12,000 people signed the first petition, and there have been six more each with over 1,500 signatures. No-one was forced to sign - and they gave their names willingly.

It has not cost 'TNPE or anyone else 'thousands' - the new non-Olympic only 25m swimming pool in Blackbird Leys though, has cost over £13m - find a more expensive one and we'll shake your hand. A complete waste of public money when it could have cost under £4m. That's the scandal you should be complaining about.

And this new pool is not for people in Blackbird Leys - according to the council, it's a "citywide facility" and a "25m competition pool". The location simply means Fusion can make more profit from it then if it had been placed where people actually want to use such a facility.
Hmm. Same old trolls. Same old tired rumours with no substance based on evidence that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The Campaign, and separately the opposition in Blackbird Leys when people realised what was being landed on them without any evidence of demand, has kept TCP operational. This is what people want. And over 12,000 people signed the first petition, and there have been six more each with over 1,500 signatures. No-one was forced to sign - and they gave their names willingly. It has not cost 'TNPE or anyone else 'thousands' - the new non-Olympic only 25m swimming pool in Blackbird Leys though, has cost over £13m - find a more expensive one and we'll shake your hand. A complete waste of public money when it could have cost under £4m. That's the scandal you should be complaining about. And this new pool is not for people in Blackbird Leys - according to the council, it's a "citywide facility" and a "25m competition pool". The location simply means Fusion can make more profit from it then if it had been placed where people actually want to use such a facility. SaveTCP
  • Score: 0

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