Hilsea Lido loses money after council’s licence delay

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VOLUNTEERS working to have the Hilsea Lido open for public swimming next summer say their project has been delayed by Portsmouth City Council.

Extreme watersports company, South Coast Wakeboarding, was due to open a cable course on the lake next to the pool last April, but the council has spent so long getting a licence of operation together the firm missed the whole season.

The cable wakebording business applied for the licence in March this year and has still not received it, despite the terms and contents being agreed in April.

Scott Sullivan, founder of South Coast Wakeboarding, was granted planning permission to construct the course in April and says he was told the licence would follow soon after.

He said: ‘It’s very frustrating because I can’t construct anything until I get the licence.

‘Everything else is sorted out and ready to go, it’s just a waiting game and now I’ve missed the whole season.

‘Because the council delayed issuing the licence for a few months I’ve lost a whole year’s worth of business and the lido has really missed out.’

The firm was going to use the lido’s changing facilities – creating revenue for the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People, which would go towards its aim of having the pool open for public swimming next summer.

Sabrina Richards, the organisation’s chairwoman, said: ‘We’ve lost a lot of income because of this and it’s had a huge impact our progress.

‘It means we will not be able to deliver everything we wanted to next year, and it has delayed all our plans.’

South Coast Wakeboarding still plans to open at the lido next year, provided it receives a licence in time.

The council did not explain why it was taking so long to grant a licence, but valuer Jeremy Bulled said: ‘We are now currently awaiting results to make sure that the water is of a high enough quality for public swimming.’