ENGLISH HERITAGE PUTS SALTDEAN LIDO ON AT RISK REGISTER
BRIGHTON AND HOVE COUNCIL FACING RENEWED PRESSURE TO RECOVER LEASE AS CAMPAIGN GROUP PRESENT LARGEST EVER PETITION 19 October 2011
Saltdean Lido and its art-deco buildings have been placed on English Heritage’s Heritage At Risk Register for 2011.
This annual report identifies the most important grade I and II* listed buildings that are threatened by development pressures, neglect or decay.
The only Grade II* lido in England, Saltdean Lido appears on the listing for the first time after years of neglect have led to parts of the building becoming derelict. Only 10 buildings have been added from across the South East to the At Risk Register and Saltdean Lido is the only building owned by a local authority to appear this year. The freehold of the Saltdean lido site is owned by Brighton and Hove Council and it is highly unusual for council-owned sites to appear on the Register.
A high-profile campaign to protect the Saltdean Lido site started last year after the leaseholder – a property speculator – unveiled plans to fill in the pool, demolish part of the building and build more than 100 flats. The leaseholder has since revised his plans but has publicly stated on numerous occasions his desire to develop the site.
On 20 October, the Saltdean Lido Campaign will present an e-petition to the chamber of Brighton and Hove Council. This petition calls upon Brighton and Hove Council to take action to recover the lease and is the most signed petition in the council’s history.
Rebecca Crook, chair of the Saltdean Lido Campaign, said: “It is clear to all that the leaseholder has deliberately run-down this building so he can say that the only option is development. It is equally clear that Brighton and Hove Council is at fault for letting this happen and needs to start legal proceedings immediately to regain the lease”.
English Heritage states in its Heritage at Risk Register that local authorities have a primary role in protecting the historic environment and tackling the issue of neglected buildings. It says that local authorities can take action to secure the preservation of historic buildings through the use of statutory notices. To help local authorities make more frequent and timely use of their statutory powers, English Heritage runs a grant scheme to underwrite a significant proportion of the irrecoverable costs involved in serving Urgent Works and Repairs Notices.
About English Heritage’s At Risk Register
Listed buildings are graded I, II* and II. Grade I and II* are particularly important buildings of outstanding interest; together they amount to 8% of all listed buildings. Nationally 3% of Grade I and Grade II* buildings are at risk.
About the Saltdean Lido Campaign
The Save Saltdean Lido Campaign was set-up last year by local residents after the leaseholder of the site unveiled his plans. Despite being repeatedly told by Brighton & Hove Council that residential development will never been allowed on the site, the leaseholder– who lives in Buckinghamshire – continues to talk publicly about his ambitions recently telling the BBC that he intends to restore the building ‘in the future’, but only when residential development has been approved.
Although the lido site is best know for its pool, the art deco buildings also house a library, a gym and four rooms which are used for a range of classes including yoga, ballet, art and the Saltdean choir.
The Campaign has attracted support from ordinary people around the world, many of whom have fond memories of childhoods spent at the pool. High-profile supporters include English Heritage and the 20th Century Society. Conran & Partners, Sir Terence Conran’s architecture and design practice, has backed the Campaign by drawing up viable alternative plans for the entire site with no residential element.
The Save Saltdean Lido campaign has ambitious plans for the site which reflect Saltdean’s changing demographic as people looking for family-friendly detached homes with gardens and sea views move into the area.
The Campaign has developed a business plan – described as ‘robust’ by an independent consultant which lays out how the site could be financially self-sufficient if operated by a Community Interest Company (not-for-profit organization) which means that all the profits would go back into the building.
In a public exhibition run by the campaign group more than 2,000 people have contributed their ideas which include heating the pool and putting an ice rink over it during winter; opening a restaurant in the rotunda part of the building which is current closed and derelict; increasing the amount of space available for community use, weddings and functions; landscaping and modernizing the entire site.
The campaign has already met with various funding bodies who are very interested in getting involved with such a high-profile building.
More details about the Campaign can be found at www.saltdeanlidocampaign.org <http://www.saltdeanlidocampaign.org/>
For further information contact Rebecca Crook, Chairperson, Save Saltdean Lido Campaign, 07971 028109.