Swimming club takes legal advice after Halifax Leisure Center plan given green light

The Halifax Synchronized Swimming Club is considering whether or not it has grounds to seek a judicial review investigating Calderdale Council’s decision to allow the development of a new leisure center on the site of the existing one in North Bridge, Halifax .

The full Calderdale Council approved the move at its meeting this month.

Last year the council closed the existing Halifax swimming pool on Skircoat Road, which dates from the 1960s, because it was uneconomical to repair it.

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Young swimmers from a synchronized swimming club protested concerns outside Halifax City Hall last fall

But the club, who are national champions at some age levels and ranked third in the country, say the depth of a new pool which will be a key part of the new multi-million pound leisure centre, is, at around two meters, not deep enough to allow its members to train safely.

They say the result is they will be forced out of town or shut down – temporarily they have been training at the pool in Todmorden – also in Calderdale – but that does not meet competition standards.

The club are now taking legal advice from specialist lawyers Irwin Mitchell to see if they can apply to the High Court for a judicial review investigating the board’s decision.

Katy Cowans, public law and human rights lawyer with Irwin Mitchell, who represents the Halifax Synchronized Swimming Club, said planning legislation allows any member of the public to challenge a decision made by a local authority by seeking judicial review in the courts.

Artist’s impression of Halifax’s new recreation center

“It is understandable that the club are concerned about what this decision means for the future of many young people in the region.

“They are particularly concerned that they have not been consulted on the plans and that previous council commitments to provide facilities for key sports such as swimming, diving and synchronized swimming do not seem not been respected.

“We have now raised these concerns with the local authority.

“In the meantime, we urge the board to do the right thing and work with the club to ensure that a pool that benefits all sports clubs and the community is built so that young people can continue to s thrive in their sport and win medals,” she said. .

Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy Councilor Jane Scullion (Laboratory, Luddenden Foot) said the full council giving the green light to the project was a major step and the authority is confident that correct procedures were followed.

“The green light from the Full Council to approve funding to advance the development of the new Halifax Leisure Center and Swimming Pool is an important milestone in our hard work to bring first class combined facilities to Calderdale’s diverse communities. .

“This is a key project for the whole borough, which will not only support the health and well-being of a wider range of local populations and visitors, but will also stimulate our economic recovery and will work to address the climate emergency.

“The Halifax Synchronized Swimming Club’s potential application for judicial review rests with the Club, but we are satisfied that all appropriate processes and procedures have been undertaken,” she said.

Utilities and Communities Cabinet Member Councilor Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said the new leisure center would bring “fantastic” facilities, including a 25-metre swimming pool, spinning studio, rock climbing of adventure, a café-sauna, an independent living center and energy. – efficient technologies.

“The new leisure center will help more people get active, support people of all ages and abilities, and reduce carbon emissions,” she said.

Subtitle guidance – photos OK to use

Young swimmers from a synchronized swimming club protested concerns outside Halifax City Hall last fall

Artist impressions of the appearance of the new completed recreation center

John Greenwood, Local Democracy Information Service

CALDERDALE: Swim club considering legal options

A swimming club that claims to be evicted because a new pool at the leisure center will not be deep enough to carry out its activities consults a lawyer.

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