A bit of clarification on the lido

P1060929Wapping residents may be aware that plans have surfaced over the past few months for an outdoor swimming lido to be installed at Brussels Wharf, Shadwell Basin.

However there is confusion as to precisely who owns the site, and who is putting forward these proposals. As such, I thought it would be helpful if I clarify what I have managed to ascertain as one of our ward’s two local councillors.

There are two groups looking at this idea. First, is the Turks Head Charity. The charity is based in an office above the old Turks Head pub opposite John Orwell leisure centre, and works on local projects such as the popular summer shindig on Wapping Green. They have joined forces with the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre to put forward proposals for a swimming lido and café at Brussels Wharf. They held a consultation event a few months ago to share the idea with residents and now they have refined their plans and are putting them to residents this week for further consultation. To find out more, check out their leaflet or go along to their consultation at Raines House.


The other group is Tower Hamlets council itself which is looking at how to improve the basin area, particularly as this part of our ward will be undergoing changes due to works at King Edward Memorial Park.

The council has plans to install a lido at Brussels Wharf, probably with a café and changing rooms. However they have not yet consulted local residents because they haven’t carried out a feasibility study. Until such a study is carried out, I am told, ‘we are not in a position to confirm any further details about [the lido’s] delivery. As you will understand we have to be clear about its economic viability before we raise any major expectations with the community about the provision.’

I have been advised by council officers, ‘the lido at Brussels Wharf is a council project’ and they own the land. But with regard to the Turk’s Head proposals, ‘Anyone can make a planning application to the council, irrelevant if they own the land or not and without the landlord’s consent.  The legal obligation on them would be to serve notice to the owner that they have made the application but that is it.  In this case the Turks Head have not served any notice as far as I am aware.  When we met with them we did request that they hold back from making any planning application until we have completed our feasibility study. We will get something on the website that sets out the KEMP consultation and includes some general information on the lido and café and the council’s intentions.’

I have noticed twitter traffic from residents who are concerned about what is happening with the lido so I hope this helps clarify what is going on.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that we have two consultation events coming up on the King Edward Memorial Park. First is this Saturday (4 June) in the park itself, from 10am to 5pm. Second is an exhibition in Raines House on 8 June, 6.30-9pm.

I had a great meeting with Carl from the Save KEMP group last week to discuss some of the ideas of local residents in terms of mitigating the super sewer works in our park, and how we can best landscape the foreshore. I shall be sharing these ideas with officers, along with views on the sports facilities and children’s playground.




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