Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Green light for Lido scheme

The West Marina Lido project has got the green light from the council but will not be opening its doors this summer.

Project manager Adam Daly tells HOT that word is still awaited from Southern Water that it has ring-fenced funds to sort out problems with the storm water tank on the former swimming pool site in West St Leonards where the Lido complex will be built. The water company was supposed to notify the environmental health authorities by 20 February.

Once Southern Water has cleansed the tank, which has gone septic, building of the complex can begin. This will take some three months – two for the ground works and another for the outfitting.

Meanwhile good progress is being made on arranging funds for the £1.5 million project, according to Mr Daly. “I feel we’re close to securing the money,” he says.

Seven-year lease

The project was unanimously approved, and a seven-year lease granted, by the planning committee in late February. The application was opposed by supporters of the alternative Platform proposal, who submitted a petition with some 700 signatures.

In a letter to Hastings Observer, La Verne Preston, chair of the Platform group, suggested that conversion of each of the shipping containers which will be used for the lido construction will create 1,000 lb of toxic hazardous waste. Mr Daly counters by referring to existing constructions based on containers, including a shopping arcade, which have been approved by environmental health authorities. Between nine and 12 units will be required for the Lido scheme.

Another Observer correspondent recalled a previous scheme at White Rock Gardens where the developer, after receiving planning permission, returned to the council several times seeking permission to add fast food outlets and eventually even a casino, to make the scheme profitable.

Mr Daly does not envisage such an eventuality for the Lido scheme. “We’ve laid out our business plan quite clearly, so we’re confident we can deliver it,” he says.

Winter start?

The earliest the Lido complex can come on stream is next winter. “We’re thinking of opening an ice rink,” says Mr Daly. “We would transform the decking into what would be possibly the largest ice rink in the UK.”

In addition to a restaurant and bar, sun decks, a sea viewing tower, shower room facilities and a shop for water sports equipment, a strong summer entertainment offer is also planned, with music, film and theatre. An open-air auditorium will be created on the decking.

Creating the lido complex will provide around 100 construction jobs. Once it is up and running, there will be a need for some 20-30 staff in the summer season and slightly less than that in winter, in addition to 10 full-time employees, according to Mr Daly.

Posted 17:35 Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012 In: Home Ground

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