8:20am Thursday 8th March 2012
Sir – It is becoming increasingly clear that the new Blackbird Leys swimming pool is being built at the expense of Temple Cowley swimming pool and community.
Temple Cowley swimming pool is to be sold to the highest bidder/developer in order to pay for the Blackbird Leys pool, though it will take ten years to pay it off in full.
Cowley is densely populated with a relatively poor infrastructure of open space, let alone a leisure centre, all of which Blackbird Leys has. If Temple Cowley swimming pool is developed for housing, it will be even more crowded.
What Temple Cowley actually needs is a swimming pool and leisure centre, play areas and not more infill housing.
Before the Second World War the council had a plan for five swimming pools for Oxford city. There is a new pool in Barton, Marston Ferry pool in north Oxford, Blackbird Leys pool and Temple Cowley. However, there is still no pool for the Botley area.A large pool such as is suggested for Blackbird Leys is indeed needed, near the city centre. Botley is near the city centre. Blackbird Leys is beyond the ring road and it has recently been suggested that it becomes part of the Henley MP’s constituency, which really says it all. At present there is little money to spare. Surely it would be better in the short term to repair the neighbourhood pools in Blackbird Leys and Temple Cowley.
Long-term have a plan to build a competition standard pool nearer to the city centre, with plentiful transport from all directions, a pool which will enhance the city, rather than sit as a white elephant on the periphery.
Rosanne Bostock (Mrs), Oxford
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