Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The fight to save Bexley Pool ....continued

Bexley Pool running out of options

22 Feb, 2011 04:00 AM
PLANS for the redevelopment of Bexley Pool could be thwarted because of the location of Sydney Water infrastructure.
A Rockdale Council report outlining progress on the proposed redevelopment will be presented to the March 17 council meeting.
The council resolved in December to commission TompkinsMDA Architects to investigate the feasibility of reconstructing the 50-metre pool, 16.5 metres to the east.
Feasibility studies and design work will cost $80,000 using money from the council’s Bexley Pool redevelopment fund.
However, in a report tabled at a council meeting last week, Sydney Water says its policy will no longer allow building over its assets on the site, which includes sewerage and stormwater pipes.
The council report says Sydney Water’s position had serious implications.
It would preclude relocation of the pool to the east, or even its replacement in its current location.
‘‘It precludes the reference group proposal of an indoor centre south of the 50-metre pool,’’ the report says.
A council resolution in December was for TompkinsMDA Architect’s to be commissioned to prepare concept design plans and costings for a two-stage project, involving relocation plus a new indoor heated 25- metre pool and program therapy pool where the existing amenities and an office building are now located.
A report was to be provided this month concerning Sydney Water’s sewer and stormwater infrastructure, and a program for including the work in the council’s 2011-12 operational plan.
Resident Brian Wilson said the council’s reports on the redevelopment of the pool were ‘‘unnecessarily negative’’ and could be a ‘‘spoiling strategy’’ to derail the project.
He said shifting the pool east to avoid Sydney Water assets was only one option in a feasibility study by
TompkinsMDA Architects.
He said residents were frustrated it took two years for a feasibility study to be done, and the council should reaffirm its commitment to the redevelopment and commit funding for the first stage in the 2011-12 budget.
‘‘This was based on a brief, not a fully detailed request for tender, and it was not a full, public tender process; rather it is the case that the brief was only circulated to a limited number of companies,’’ Mr Wilson said.
Labor councillor Shane O’Brien said it was important the council explore all necessary options for upgrading the site and suitable designs.
‘‘Pool users can be assured the council is progressing, it’s come a long way down the path — we need to make sure we are getting the best quality facility and the most cost-effective,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s an important piece of infrastructure, it’s important that it gives the community what they want.’’
Greens Cr Lesa de Leau said it was important the community continued to look at the detail of the council’s reports.
Independent Yvonne Bellamy said the younger and older generations needed a heated pool to learn to swim and maintain health, and such facilities were in great demand in other areas of Sydney.

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