Application for new pool in Swaffham as campaigners call for inclusivity
A planning application for a new swimming pool in Swaffham has been proposed.
The proposal, to be located on Turbine Way, would be an above-ground, indoor pool.
The applicant is Karen Bromley, a fully-qualified swimming teacher who runs a family run swim school covering Suffolk and Norfolk.
She said: “I have been wanting my own pool for about 10 years so it was purely based on where I found a suitable unit and I also live nearby.
“I did know there was no council run pool in Swaffham.
“We are not on the scale of a leisure centre and are more in the market for providing learn to swim facilities, which we feel is extremely important for everyone”.
Her proposal will not be open to the general public like a leisure centre.
Instead, it will be for supervised lessons and other water-related activities.
Child-related recreational activities such as baby yoga and massages have been proposed by Mrs Bromley.
“The pool is a small, above-ground pool, and we will be providing lessons for babies and children, up to adult beginners,” Mrs Bromley said.
“There will be clean changing rooms, a waiting area and on the first floor there will be other child-related activities”.
The application comes after strong calls for a public swimming pool in Swaffham.
A group of parents and swimming enthusiasts in the town, known as Campaigning for a Swaffham Swimming Pool, are not keen on the application however.
“We are campaigning for a public pool, open to all ages and abilities, which this proposal will not provide,” a spokeswoman for the group said.
The group are campaigning for a modern open air swimming pool heated by green energy.
They are concerned the council is not funding a pool with people having to travel as far as Lynn, Dereham or Downham.
David Wickerson, chairman of the Swaffham Town Team, said: “It is a completely different animal to what was previously proposed for a health club arrangement.
“We need to serve the bigger picture to provide a facility for all ages including the young, the mature and those determined to avoid the onset of older age
“There is a need to support the facilities that we currently have in Swaffham but what would be amazing would be to have a decent lesiure centre.
“That would be very advantageous for the town”.