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Swimming pool ‘could be out of action for months’

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THE West Park Pool, which re-opened in 2014 following a £315,000 restoration, could be out of action for months after sustaining serious damage.

West Park bathing pool Picture: ROB CURRIE. (24389327)

This week, St Helier officials noticed the water levels at the facility had dropped dramatically and have now confirmed that a large hole has appeared in one of its walls.

Silvio Alves, director of technical and environmental services for the parish, said that plans to repair the wall were now being drawn up.

‘Normally, it is very difficult to see the back part of the wall because it is usually underwater, but it was noticed that the levels were much lower than normal – that is what brought our attention to the issue.

‘The hole was probably caused by the big tides and inclement weather we have had, and we now have structural engineers looking at it to see what can be done to address it.

‘I would advise the public to keep away from it until it is fixed.’

In 2012, after lying unused for decades, it was announced that a team, led by former Senator Pierre Horsfall and including St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft, were considering restoring the pool – the biggest marine lake in Britain – to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Jersey Development Company and St Helier each put £100,000 towards the project and £115,000 was taken from the Tourism Development Fund.

It reopened in July 2014, with stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and pedal boats all available for hire.

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Since then, the parish has spent around £20,000 rectifying minor issues and cleaning the pool annually.

Mr Alves said that he would speak to the landowners, Jersey Property Holdings, about funding the repairs, as they could cost a significant amount.

‘We carry out routine maintenance on the pool to deal with minimal wear and tear but this is quite significant damage,’ he said.

‘It could take months to repair as it is at the far end of the pool, closest to the sea and there will only be certain times where we can move the granite stones [within the wall] and put them back in place.

‘Until we get a response from an engineer, I really do not know how we are going to do it.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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