Hackney council is splashing out £4.5 million on a new pool for its popular lido

lido©DA15crowd: LondonFieldLido 3006715 © DavidAltheer@gmail.com
LidoRaf©DA14:© david.altheer@gmail.com London Fields Lido manager Rafal Cymbalista 190120
Top: despite good opening hours, London Fields Lido becomes crowded in summer. Above: pool manager Rafal Cymbalista

SPLASH! AN EMAIL PLOPS into Loving Dalston’s email tank from Hackney council: London Fields Lido is to get a new, separate learner pool.

If the project at the heated outdoors pool wins public approval in a consultation, it will cost £4.5 million. Work could start in 2022. 

London Fields User Group was a bit miffed at the news when Loving Dalston sought its response. Lfug’s Kevin Flemen said it was the first it had heard of the proposal. 

He added: “We await more details and will canvass the views of our membership.”

Hackney council is sensitive about the Lido, having been reviled for closing many pools in the borough and above all for mothballing the facility in the elysian London Fields park in 1988. 

It would have been decaying still but for campaigning by local people, which went on for 18 years before the council found the money — a sum by then much greater than it would have earlier been — to restore and reopen the art deco treasure in 2006.

LonFieldsLido©DA18:© david.altheer@gmail.com London Fields Lido #Dalston #Hackney E8 030118
Leave the trees? Hackney council is not saying where the new pool will go

Hence today’s Lido press release is awash with anti-Government quotes attributed to Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville.

This may be compulsory for Labour councils, but is it of immediate interest to anyone who just wants to learn to swim? Or, for that matter, for those who want just to swim.

In any case, regular Lido users, tired of clashes if not crashes in the busy lanes, will welcome anything that frees up a few metres.

Swimmers would nevertheless be wise to temper expectations. The budget seems high, as if the council is wary since its previous pool works went over-budget and behind schedule. And today’s handout does not say where the new pool will be built.

Will the council have to seek permission to remove some of the park’s magnificent trees? Parents of toddlers may be alarmed that the council does not mention the children’s pool.

David Altheer 200120

* Backstory: Reopening in January 2018; Lido fans splash-happy; Absurd lido panic; New swim date sinks without explanationLido nears end of repairs for serious leaksLido repairs going well, says contractorLate reprieve for lidoHiring a contractor is not going swimminglyLido’s off-the-wall horror; Sell Haggerston heritage says Hackney

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