Plans submitted for £6.2m swimming pool at Bristol Brunel Academy
PLANS for a new £6.2 million swimming pool in east Bristol have been submitted to Bristol City Council.
The proposals include creating a 25m pool and learner pool at Bristol Brunel Academy in Speedwell for use by the school and the public.
Due to open in 2014, it will replace the former Speedwell Pool which was closed down in 2005 along with Henbury, Bristol North, and Filwood pools.
Under the plans, the development will include a six-lane pool along with an extended fitness gym, additional parking, a new reception and spectators' area.
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According to the planning application, the new pool would be located behind the existing leisure wing at the western end of the school to enable the new facility to share existing changing rooms and staff resources, and complement the existing building.
It will be built on open land between the existing leisure block and the playing fields, with a long jump pit being relocated to accommodate the development.
The development site has been classed as being "of little recreational or amenity value".
A statement submitted as part of the application by Childs & Sulzmann architects said: "In this case the loss of open space is for the purposes of improving the recreational facilities on the site which, to some extent, will mitigate its loss.
"It is also relevant that the area to be lost is of little or no benefit in relation to the wider use of the site as sports fields and play space associated with the school."
There was a great deal of support for the proposals during public consultation meetings held in 2011 and earlier this year.
Although there were no objections to the pool being built, consultees wanted to see safe access to the pool provided and were anxious to find out more about the extent to which the facility would be made available to the public.
The statement in the application added: "There is a need for a swimming pool in the Speedwell area since the closure of the nearby swimming baths on Whitefield Road.
"There exists a clear and available opportunity to provide a replacement facility to a higher standard at the recently completed Brunel Academy.
"The additional facility will complement the sports and fitness facilities at the college and can be managed and maintained efficiently as part of this resource.
"A careful feasibility study and consultation with all interested parties has shown that the new pool is both feasible and viable.
"The proposals show that the pool can be added practically, efficiently with minimal impact on the integrity of the architecture of the existing building and with limited disruption to the day to day work of the college during its construction.
"This scheme can provide a much needed and valuable resource to the community."
Bristol Brunel Academy – the former Speedwell Technology College – was built under a private finance initiative (PFI) and opened by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown five years ago. It is understood the pool will probably be funded through a variation to the school's PFI agreement.