Swindon’s swimming pool heritage has been lauded by Historic England which is why it has welcomed new Oasis restoration plans.
The closed leisure centre’s current leaseholders, SevenCapital, has put in a planning application for approval on an approach to restoring the Grade II listed dome showing it intends to replace the existing panels with the material used on the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Historic England, the public body that looks after England’s historic environment, has welcomed this development and has encouraged the local authority to approve them.
In a letter from the organisation’s principal inspector of historic buildings and areas, Simon Hickman, to Swindon Borough Council, he said: “Historic England is pleased to offer its support for the principle of the proposals.”
It added: “We would recommend the granting of listed building consent to establish the principle of reglazing the structure in EFTE, with the details to be worked out via planning condition.”
In the same letter, Historic England made reference to Swindon as a hub for swimming areas with historic significance
It said: “The borough of Swindon is in the unusual position of retaining a number of historic swimming areas each of which reflects the different values of the times they were built.
“The Grade II listed Hydro complex was built with health in mind. The Grade II listed former diving board at Coate Water Park reflects the streamlined moderne era, and the Grade II listed pools of the Oasis Centre evoke the foreign holidays which became available to the public from the late 1960s.
“We are pleased to see progress made at all three sites to secure their long-term sustainable future.”
This year the diving board in the centre of the lake at Coate Water was given a facelift after becoming ridden with bird poo and weathered by the elements over the years. It was newly restored with a fresh coat of paint, and replicas of the original handrails were installed.
A £6.5million scheme to restore the Health Hydro on Milton Road has also been given the green light after the council, along with Historic England, successfully applied for funding from the central Government.
SevenCapital needs approval in advance for the dome before it can draw up a full plan for reopening the whole Oasis site. This is because if the dome plans are an issue they can’t move forward with anything else.
It was recently confirmed that talk of when the facility will reopen is a long way off.