Shrewsbury swimmers 'horrified' at dual-site proposal for Quarry and Sports Village pools, councillor claims
Regular swimmers at the Quarry baths are "horrified" at a proposal to have pools in the town centre and Shrewsbury Sport Village, according to a councillor.
Shropshire Council agreed to press ahead and look into two options for swimming in the town, one to redevelop the Quarry site to include a competition pool as well as a leisure, health and wellbeing facility, or to revamp the town centre site but build a competition pool at the Sport's Village.
Abbey ward councillor Hannah Fraser raised concerns at a council cabinet meeting to discuss the options.
She says that she swims there most days and that the baths are currently well used by swimming clubs and people who swim lengths for fitness.
She worries that those people won't be well catered for in the town centre under the proposal which includes the competition pool in Sundorne.
"First thing in the morning the 33m pool is full of people doing lengths," she said.
"Then the schools are using the downstairs pools in the day and the clubs are there in the evenings.
"It is really well used. The report says it's only 47 per cent used.
"A lot of users are horrified (by the Sports Village proposal). You need to consider those people.
"Let's make sure the core of this is aimed at fulfilling the need of existing users.
Council leader Peter Nutting responded: "We're not just talking about the swimming community, we're talking about the wider community."
But Councillor Fraser said: "You've got a core of customers who really love swimming. If you don't get it right for them, you won't get it right for anyone."
Councillor Lezley Picton, portfolio holder for Culture, Leisure, Waste and Communication, is going to be leading the research for the final report.
She told Councillor Fraser: "You've assumed there will be no lane swimming. That's not the case."
She added that it is important to have a pool with the fun elements such as flumes, as one parent told her if they were removed they would "never be able to get my children to go".
Councillor Nutting said: "We're not saying either option is right or wrong, we need to get all the information. I want the decision made this year."
There are no estimations yet of what either option might cost, but it is hoped that a final report will be ready in December this year for councillors to decide on which one to go with.