THE FUTURE of Gnosall’s swimming pool has been cast into further doubt by plans to build a new school on the site.
Villagers have been campaigning to keep the pool, on the site of St Lawrence Primary School, since they heard in 2013 that no plans had been made for its future when the school was rebuilt.
A new two-storey school is being earmarked for the existing school site, to accommodate extra youngsters expected to move into the area when new housing developments are completed.
Last week reports began circulating on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter that the pool would be shutting in December.
And campaigners’ fears were confirmed at Monday’s parish council meeting when Councillor Graham Payne, one of the school’s governors, revealed that developers planned to build the new school on the site currently occupied by the swimming pool and village youth club and wanted to move on site by the end of this year.
Councillor Payne said: “We did not know until Thursday from the developers that they would move on site on December 17. The site in question is the swimming pool, the main hall of the school and the youth club.
“The school is going to be built on the embankment higher than the field and it will mean demolishing part of the existing school to make way for a significant area for the new school, which will be a two storey building.
“The pool has never been the responsibility of the governors or the school itself.
“The governors are very disappointed we are going to lose that facility for children, but there is no other way. The developers have said it is the only place the school can be built.
“We looked at keeping the pool as part of the school but it would have cost in the region of £4million to bring it up to the standard now expected by school regulations.”
A planning application is yet to be submitted for the new school building to Stafford Borough Council.
Discussions for the exact location of the new school building are still ongoing, a Staffordshire County Council spokesman said, and no firm decision has yet been made.