THE swimming pool in Monmouth will be moved as the council has agreed to build the new £36 million Monmouth Comprehensive School on the pool’s current site.
Monmouthshire’s cabinet agreed last week on option two of three to build the new school on the existing community pool site on Old Dixton Road. The council has committed to building a replacement 25-metre pool which will be adjacent to the leisure centre.
Cllr Bob Hayward, member for Dixton with Osbaston, said: “The site is difficult but option two is probably the best option for it — it’s not 100 per cent satisfactory. The preferred option would be the playing field but that is situated on a flood plain and is not satisfactory for disabled access.
“There is definitely going to be a pool — that was confirmed at the planning committee meeting at Monmouth Town Council on Monday. Cllr Bob Greenland made it clear that the pool’s finances are not dependent on the 21st Century Schools programme.
“It will be constructed concurrently with the school. People will be without the pool for 12 months at best instead of two to four years.”
He added: “The pool is heavily used by many people. It has caused chaos, with people concerned it wouldn’t go ahead or that it would be delayed for years.
“It’s the best outcome.”
The new pool will be bigger than the existing one and it will likely be elevated.
The council has estimated a cost of £5.5 million to replace the swimming pool in the 21st Century Schools report that went before cabinet last week.
Cllr Greenland, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Work is ongoing to minimise the inconvenience. We are in discussion with both Haberdashers’ Schools in the town who have offered to help where they have spare capacity in their pools.
“We are pressing officers to accelerate the planning of the project to bring the new pool forward earlier.
“We still need to identify the budget needed to finance the pool but I am hopeful we will be able to present a budget for the pool to council members in September.”