Children’s splash pool will not open this year

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HILSEA Lido’s proposed splash pool will not be open this year.

Councillor Lee Hunt, Portsmouth City Council’s leader for sport and leisure, has spoken out following criticism of the amount of time it has taken to develop a children’s facility at the centre.

The shallow pool for youngsters was damaged in last winter’s ice and snow. A total of £400,000 was to be spent on repairs, and to convert it into a play pool similar to that at Southsea.

But it was supposed to be open in time for the start of the summer holidays, a date which was later put back to late August.

Both deadlines were missed.

And Cllr Hunt admitted the pool will not be open this year, as a result.

He said: ‘Over recent months I was concerned over the lack of progress at the site. I had advised the local ward councillors that progress would, in my opinion, be heavily weather dependent and we have had much rain. We raised serious concerns with Farnrise, the contractor we hired to do the work, as there were cracks and drainage problems with what they had done. The site manager advised me that Farnrise has been struggling to resource all their contracts in the area, especially as they were committed to works during the school summer holidays. I am informed this matter has been rectified now, but of course it is too late for this season for this project.

‘Had we not noticed the cracks and the drainage issues then these issues could easily have gone unnoticed and been covered by the rubber pour and other surface works. It would have looked great and been open on time and a lot of back-slapping celebration seen, but only to store up problems and cost in to the future.’