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London set to get first new lido in decades – BBC News


Image source, Redbridge Council

Image caption, The new pool is expected to open in autumn 2025

  • Author, James W Kelly
  • Role, BBC News

London is set to see its first new council-run lido built in decades after plans were approved.

Redbridge Council’s planning committee approved proposals on Wednesday to build the new lido in Valentines Park in Ilford, east London.

Construction is expected to begin later this year with an opening date expected by autumn 2025 at the earliest.

There are currently 17 lidos in the capital, according to All The Lidos, which records all outdoor swimming pools in the UK.

The facility will be close to Valentines Park’s original outdoor pool, which operated from 1923 to 1995.

While London has seen the reopening of lidos in recent decades, such as Charlton Lido which shut in 1989 to return in 2013, it has been rarer for entirely new outdoor swimming pools to be created.

Image source, Redbridge Council

Image caption, The new facility will be built near the park’s original lido

Alongside the six-lane pool, the Valentines Park lido will also include a children’s splash pad, a dance studio and a gym.

The entrance fee is not a consideration for the planning committee, but the meeting heard the lido would be similarly priced to leisure centre pools in the borough.

It is part of a £11m investment by Redbridge into leisure provision in the borough. 

Council leader Jas Athwal told the Evening Standard last year the lido would cost no more than £4m.

Image source, Redbridge Council

Image caption, The new facility will boast a cafe and children’s splash pad

During a 22-day consultation in April, a total of eight residents objected to the scheme.

They argued building on a green space used for “walking and observing nature’” was unacceptable.

However, the council argued the site was “under-utilised”.

After the lido was approved, Mark Baigent, the council’s corporate director of regeneration and culture, said: “The old lido in Valentines Park holds a special place in the hearts of local people.”



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