LONGRIDGE looks set to get a new swimming pool if – as looks likely – planners give the go-ahead to an ambitious plan tomorrow.
Ribble Valley councillors are being urged to support a plan lodged by Paula Glover, of Glover Swim School, Grimsargh, for a 16.6m x 7m private pool for teaching swimming at Higher College Farm, Blackburn Road, Longridge.
Mrs Glover said: “It will be a unique asset. We want as much support from the community as we can.”
The community has already welcomed the plans, especially local schools, who will be able to use it.
Louise Jones, head of Whitechapel Primary School, said: “A decent-sized swimming pool would be a fantastic resource.
“It could be used for swimming lessons, competitions, training, water safety, as well as providing jobs, and enhancing the community, which is so important for every age group of our rural society.”
A spokesman for Longridge CE Primary said: “The schools in Longridge work very closely together, and having a ‘local’ pool of appropriate size would allow us to get consistent swimming teaching, and provide a venue where we could hold cluster galas.”
Similar support has come from other schools, including Goosnargh Oliversons, Alston Lane and St Francis RC Primary.
Special schools in the Longridge area have also expressed an interest in using the pool.
The application has been handled by the Rural Futures organisation, which backs rural industry and farm diversification in the North West.
Its report says that, although the development will be undertaken by Mrs Glover, the site will be leased from Higher College Farm – generating what it calls ‘diversification’ cash for the farm’s livestock business.
The Glovers have run their swimming teaching business in the area for the past 28 years.
They currently rely on using existing pools, including the ones at Beacon Fell View Park and the Marriot Hotel, Broughton.
The report to councillors says those pools are “far from ideal, as they are designed for leisure use rather than teaching. Beacon Fell View also closes over the winter, so the business has to relocate during this period”.
If the plans get the go-ahead, the school will employ up to five full-time staff on reception, site maintenance and instructors.
Although it will operate as a private business, it will provide a community facility for pre-booked groups.
The report adds it will not be open to the general public.
The internal layout of the pool has been designed to allow ASA awards to be undertaken.
It adds that the site, off the B6243, is acceptable for the swim pool plan as it serves the existing industrial estate.
The existing tarred toad, with passing places, will be used to access the pool.
The pool has been specifically designed for teaching all age groups, including disabled users.
The swim school is a family business, employing Paula Glover, her mother Diane and brother Tom. It has been operating for 28 years.
Design-wise the building will have the appearance of the surrounding farm and industrial buildings.
Hothersall parish council has no objection and expects the project to be successful - bringing with it additional traffic to an area where there are already traffic problems.
There is already a proposal for a 40mph speed limit along the stretch of road, and the parish council wants the limit to be brought in before building work begins on the pool.
The county surveyor also has no objection.
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Weather for Longridge
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 28 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West