Children’s swim school is allowed after parking row

The pool in Catisfield Road Fareham where the swimming lessons are taking place
The pool in Catisfield Road Fareham where the swimming lessons are taking place
Have your say

A SWIMMING school that caused neighbourhood upset over parking when it started in a private home’s swimming pool has been allowed to continue.

Complaints were made to Fareham Borough Council about cars parking dangerously in Catisfield Road, Fareham.

Swimming classes were being run by Lucy Evans, who was renting the pool from its owners.

After an investigation, council officers found that a change of use had occurred and Miss Evans was ordered to apply for retrospective planning permission, appearing before the council’s last planning committee.

Miss Evans said: ‘Since I found out about the issues arising from parking, I have really put my heart and soul into reducing the amount of cars on the road.

‘I originally had about 100 customers potentially driving to the pool but now I have 70, and I know only 20 of them drive as the rest are walking and they’re Catisfield residents. That only comes to about one car per half-hour session, rather than potentially four or eight if there was a crossover period.’

Miss Evans also told councillors that she had employed an assistant, who checks every 15 minutes that customers are parking in safe areas.

Initially eight letters from residents in Cherrygarth Road, Larches Gardens and The Timbers were sent to the council objecting to the school.

However, Jane Reid, of Chatsworth Close, opposite the school, said that since Miss Evans became aware of the problem, she had held a residents’ meeting and brought in new rules, meaning that parking had not been a problem since Christmas.

A petition with 73 signatures from customers of Miss Evans’ swimming school, plus 22 letters of support, was also given to the council.

Councillors unanimously allowed Miss Evans to continue operating from the pool, with a temporary permission to be reviewed after one year.

Ward councillor Connie Hockley said: ‘We have got to show support and keep small businesses like this going.’