News reached us on 20th August that English Heritage, who have twice previously refused to list Forest Hill Pools, have decided to list Louise House including many of the internal features. What the future now holds for Louise House is uncertain as is the future of swimming in Forest Hill.
The three options presented by the council for the redevelopment of the pools are no longer possible and alternatives will need to be found.
For The Forest Hill Society our main concern now, as it has always been, is the future of swimming on this site. We call on the council to come up with innovative solutions to allow for a leisure centre on this site with two pools and community facilities. At present this looks like an onerous task, but the council need to find a way to make this possible within the new constraints. What must not be allowed to happen is for this decision to mark an end to swimming in Forest Hill.
The following day, on the 21st August, there was a public meeting to discuss the options for development of the site. 200 people attended the meeting where a range of views were expressed. Notes on the outcome of the meeting is available on Lewisham Council website.
At the Stakeholder Meeting on 27th August we found out some early results of the consultation. Although none of the options are possible following the listing of Louise House the results are still worth looking at. Of the 691 responses received:
Option 1 was preferred by 27% of respondents
Option 2 was preferred by 33% of respondents
Option 3 was preferred by 29% of respondents
11% expressed no preference.
The mayor and cabinet will meeting on 17th September and will be discussing the outcome of the consultation and development options.