Council to splash £380,000 on much-needed refurbishment work at Honiton Swimming Pool

District council bosses have agreed to splash £380,000 on much-needed refurbishment work to make Honiton Swimming Pool a ‘pleasing, pleasant, hygienic venue’.

Cabinet members heard yesterday that the facility is ‘in a very poor state’ and – if nothing was done – it may have to close.

They approved spending the six-figure sum on measures that would provide a permanent solution to current damp ingress issues, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark.

The spend will now need to be rubber-stamped by full council.

Steve Pratten, interim principal surveyor, told councillors this required the existing floor, wall finishes and underlining screed and plaster to be removed.

Wall and floor tiles and fittings and fixtures such as WCs, toilet partitions and lockers will also need to make way.

He said: “The condition on the reception area, changing rooms and associated other rooms, excluding the pool hall, at Honiton Swimming Pool has continued to deteriorate.

“Following a recent survey, it has been established that there is water ingress both internally from the showers/ changing rooms and externally through the walls.

“This has caused additional issues associated with rising damp and efflorescence, which in turn has resulted in a further deleterious effect on the finishes and fittings.

“There are also issues with the existing M and E [mechanical and electrical]installation with a lack of mechanical ventilation and local heating.

“Remedial works need to be undertaken to correct the water ingress that will require all the screed in the areas to be removed including the associated floor, part of the wall tiling, all associated fixtures and fittings and subsequently replaced after treatment.

“In the circumstances, it is considered that the opportunity should be taken to both refurbish the affected areas and replace the defective elements of the M and E installation.

“This refurbishment work will enable Honiton Swimming Pool to be a more a pleasing, pleasant, hygienic venue to visit, and as result will be more attractive to the public.”

Councillor Mike Allen issued a plea on behalf of the people of Honiton for the work to go ahead, adding: “It is just not up to modern standards and I have constant complaints about the dated environment and dangerous environment.

“We need to do it properly and we need to do it fast.”

Cllr Paul Hayward, cabinet member for economy, added: “This is supposed to be an amenity for the people of Honiton, but it is not performing.

“Let’s improve the facility and get people healthy and swimming. We cannot have a facility that is unsafe and not fit for purpose.”

Cllr Jack Rowland added: “If we did nothing, the pool would have to close, and that is not an option as it is essential for the community.”

Cabinet members agreed to the refurbishment works and recommended to full council that funds should be set aside.

They also asked for the potential for solar panels and air source heat pumps for the pool to be assessed in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

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