Homes plan for site of old Minsthorpe Pool

Dozens of new homes could be built on the former Minsthorpe Pool site as part of a plan to regenerate the south east.

By Sam Cooper
Saturday, 13th June 2015, 12:00 pm
The shut Minsthorpe pool. (H521E333)
The shut Minsthorpe pool. (H521E333)

A planning application has been submitted to demolish the Ash Grove building, which closed as a swimming pool during 2013.

After the work, Wakefield Council hope to draw up a scheme to build specially-adapted bungalows for the elderly on the site, which will then be put out to tender.

Coun Denise Jeffery, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We thought we would have the site clear by now but we hit some delays. The demolition application being submitted is a positive step though and is the start of us moving forward with our plans.

“We are looking at regenerating the whole area in the south east and this is like the first bit of that plan.”

The pool site has been subject to arson attacks and vandalism since it was closed down by the council.

Demolition work on the site will begin on August 24 and take 15 weeks to complete.

Coun Jeffery said: “The site has been a bit of an eyesore since it closed and we were worried it would become dangerous.

“The designs for the new bungalows are fabulous and will hopefully provide much-needed extra housing provision in the area.”

The pool was initially closed for repairs after a crack was found in the pool and its filtration system was in a poor condition.

But an investment of more than £1.2m was needed to fix the facility and in June 2013 the council shut the pool down permanently after they said it was not financially viable to upgrade it.

The council approved plans to build a replacement £5m facility at Minsthorpe Community College in November last year.

As part of the development the council also agreed to pay £135,000 a year towards the new pool’s annual running costs, which would be run by the college.

The new pool is not expected to be up and running until at least autumn 2016.

David Fitzgerald, Minsthorpe Pool Action Group (MPAG), spokesman, said: “While we are disappointed that the old building is to be demolished, we take it as a sign that a plan B is not needed and progress is now being made for a brand new public pool at Minsthorpe Community College.

“It is a facility that has been sorely missed for a long time by the residents of the South East and we look forward to the work on the promised new pool starting imminently.”

Martyn Gorton, Wakefield and District Housing’s director of investment, said this week: “We would not wish to speculate on the future use of land which we do not own.”