Sheffield pool plan gets thumbs down

Thorncliffe Playing Fields
Thorncliffe Playing Fields
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Sports groups have said they will not support plans to build a new swimming pool on a proposed site in the north of Sheffield.

Thorncliffe Sports and Community Development Group - which uses land earmarked for the new facility - is fighting plans to build on public playing fields in High Green.

Sheffield Council said it was keen to work with the organisation, made up of local clubs and sports teams, when it launched a public consultation in December.

The pool - Sheffield’s first to be built in two decades - will double as a centre of excellence for sport.

But Thorncliffe users have thrown a spanner in the works by objecting to the location.

Graham Elliott, secretary of Thorncliffe Sports and Community Development Group, said: “The proposal to place a new swimming pool in High Green is to be welcomed.

“Unfortunately the proposed location of the swimming pool is completely unacceptable in that it totally ignores the Thorncliffe master plan and effectively makes it impossible to deliver that plan.

“Our view is that there is an opportunity to greatly improve the local environment by taking the Pickwick Club, scouts and basketball court sites, giving the scouts support on that site to develop a new building and move the swimming pool onto the remaining land, reducing the need to take any of the playing field area.

“We are dismayed there is a commonly held view that taking land from the playing fields has no consequences.”

Ecclesfield Parish Council is backing the proposal.

Paul Billington, director of culture and environment at Sheffield Council, said: “The council is conducting an extensive public consultation exercise on the proposed new pool in High Green.

“The response has been very positive.

“The new pool will only require about 10 per cent of the Thorncliffe site and the council is working with the sports groups on a joint plan.”

It is hoped the £7 million centre will open late 2015.