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Purley Pool campaigners' fight for planning assurances

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Purley pool are seeking fresh assurances about its long-term future.

The threat of closure has hung over the pool since 2009, though the council's most recent commitment was to keep the facility open until at least next year.

But pool supporters want a more concrete promise, and for its future to be confirmed in a plan outlining the borough's development projects.

The council released its Local Plan in October, detailing specific policies and proposals in each area, and has given residents until December 5 to write in with their opinions.

But Purley pool, at this stage, is not included in the plan.

Fred Wallis, who leads the Save Purley Pool Campaign, told the Advertiser: "We just do not know what will happen to the pool.

"We had promises it would be safe until the 2014 election, and that it would only be shut down if another pool was built in Purley or Coulsdon.

"We even met the Government inspector, who said when the council came forward with their area plans, we had to put in our concerns immediately."

The Local Plan has several general sections and specific sections for each area like Purley.

Tony Farrell, who runs the annual Swimathon charity event, held at the pool every February, said there were too many rumours about the pool's future.

"The truth is lurking somewhere in the middle, but for now, it's difficult to be certain about it," he said. "Even if we didn't have a pool for a year or two it would be a disaster,"

Purley councillor Graham Bass said the pool would be protected under the Local Plan, even if it wasn't named specifically.

"The community facilities section states the council will only permit their loss if they are not being used or they are replaced elsewhere," he said.

"The site on the high street is not necessarily the best place for it; I would advocate an empty place like the old town hall."

However, the plan also states a community facility could be closed if it is located on a "shopping parade".

A council spokesman said: "The current consultation on the Local Plan does not look at specific sites. Consultation on preferred options on specific sites will take place in winter 2014."

Anyone who wishes to write to the council about the Local Plan can e-mail LDF@croydon.gov.uk

Purley Pool campaigners' fight  for planning assurances


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