Tell us what you think about our site... What people told us about the design proposals for Abbey Fields Swimming Pool - Kenilworth Leisure Centres - feedback from public consultation 2019 - Warwick District Council

What people told us about the design proposals for Abbey Fields Swimming Pool

The main messages from the survey feedback along with our responses are summarised in the table below.

Message Response
Sustainability and energy efficiency - What's being done to make the development carbon neutral and lessen the impact on the environment? We are working hard to reduce the impact of the facilities in line with the Council's commitment to attaining carbon zero emissions by 2025. Several systems will be included as standard in line with Building Regulations; e.g. LED lighting, energy metering and heat recovery ventilation. Designs are still being developed, and we will choose sustainable materials where these are feasible and appropriate. We are also considering energy efficient systems, such as combined heat & power units, grey water harvesting, voltage optimisation and photovoltaic panels, and again, where these technologies are considered appropriate they will be included in the designs. Some technologies are more appropriate for a swimming pool environment and some for a sports hall facility. We will continue to focus on the options as we develop the final designs that will be included in our planning application. We will also ensure that our construction methods impact on the environment as little as possible.
Accessible design - What can be done to make the facilities as accessible as possible for everybody, including people with mobility needs? Inside the building: The building will be fully accessible. The new family pool will have a moveable floor and the facility will include a Changing Places changing facility for those with more profound disabilities. Access from outside: We are looking at whether it is possible to make space for additional disabled car parking spaces outside the centre. This would probably mean having to use some existing green space and so this would need to be looked at carefully.
"Village change" changing facilities - Why are existing single-sex changing rooms being replaced with "village change" facilities? "Village change" facilities are included as they are a flexible space that can be used by all. Sport England consider village changing is usually the preferred model for various models of use. It will include cubicles large enough for parents and children to get changed as a group. The proposals include larger group changing rooms. These are designed for school groups and will be gender specific. Other customers will be able to use the single sex changing rooms when they are not in use by school groups.
Impact of ecology - How will the proposals affect the ecology of the park? We have completed an ecological impact assessment. This shows that the scheme will not have a significant impact, however it does note that the current lighting design in the café could affect the Finham Brook. In response, we are reviewing the lighting to ensure it meets the recommendations within the assessment and that no direct light hits the Brook.
Traffic and parking - Will the proposal include additional car parking and cycle paths? The Design team are conscious of the extreme sensitivity of the area. A travel plan is being developed for the proposal. This plan will review the parking and vehicular access for the site. The report will be scoped and reviewed with County Highways and the designs will take into account any recommendations that they make. The report will then be confirmed and made public as part of the planning application. The current design provides cycle parking outside the centre for people to wheel their bicycles to the centre. If the regulations concerning cycling in Abbey Fields are changed in the future the level of cycle provision can be changed accordingly.
Visual Impact and External Materials - The design should be sensitive to its environment and this should be reflected in the external materials used. The team is reviewing options for the materials on the external elevations. Suggestions include various cladding materials, a tiled roof on the new café or potentially a metal, standing seam flat roof. The amount of glass in the elevations is being reviewed. The final proposals will be made public with the planning application, and we are conscious that proposals need to be sympathetic to the building's surroundings.
Outdoor pool - The design should retain an outdoor pool or provide a new outdoor facility. Whilst the survey did not include a question on an outdoor pool, a number of respondents stated that they wanted an outdoor pool at Abbey Fields. Following the previous consultation in 2018, the Council made a decision in 2019 to replace the existing outdoor pool with a new indoor pool. This decision was based on sporting needs data which shows that the District needs more year-round swimming space to accommodate the growing population in Kenilworth.

Specific design questions and suggestions in response to the detailed design proposals

A number of specific design related questions and suggestions were made by respondents. The responses to these questions are shown in the table below.

Question or Suggestion Response
Why is the café located on the western side of the building? After much consideration we are proposing to relocate the café to the western side of building as shown on the consultation plans. The revised location provides a connection with the family pool and terrace. It also means that parents and carers can watch swimming lessons in the family pool from the café.
Who will be able to use the café? The café will be available for all park users and swimmers. There will also be an outside seating area at the front of the café overlooking the children's play area. Dog walkers will be able to use the external terrace with their dogs.
Should the terrace be smaller and the new pool bigger? The size of the swimming pool reflects the need for water space based on the Sport England assessment. The Design team are going to look at whether a small decrease to the size of the terrace would be helpful to create a greater separation between the park and the terrace area. We will also look at soft landscaping in this area too.
Is the meeting /party room needed? The party room / meeting room will provide a useful space for the provision of food after children's swimming parties or for staff training. The provision of this room is currently under review by the Design team
Will the entrance area be too congested? The design team are confident that this area is spacious enough for people using both the reception and the café.
What features will the new family pool have? The pool will have a movable floor which will mean that it can be used for a variety of purposes. In addition, we are conscious that the swimming pool is a family facility and therefore we are proposing to have some water features for younger children, such as jets or water sprays.
Will the 25m pool be suitable for competitive swimming? The 25m pool will be suitable for competitive / lane swimming and for small galas. However, Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre is more appropriate for larger swimming galas.
Is it possible to have a quiet area/sensory room / widget style communication? As the design currently stands it will be difficult to include a bespoke quiet area. However, there may be scope for using the meeting room as a quiet area when it is not in use for meetings or children's parties. Widget style communication - we will talk to Everyone Active about this idea and understand what would be required.
Will there be a spa pool/sauna? As space is limited due to the site constraints, we are not proposing to include a sauna or spa room within the current proposals.
Some glazed areas should be opaque in sensitive areas We have reviewed the current design to check for any issues. We will be able to add frosting at a later date if required.
Ladders are difficult for some people to use, so could there be steps into the pool instead of ladders? We will look at using removable "easy access" steps for the existing 25m pool. We are also considering a number of options for access steps into the new family pool.
The plans issued include a large volume of glass. What is being done to ensure that the building does not over heat? A thermal model for the proposals has been completed to test the temperatures throughout the year. The majority of the glazing is south facing, which minimises the heat gain.
Will there be toilets that park visitors can use? Yes. There will be 3 unisex toilets (located close to their current location) that will be directly accessible from the park. In addition, there will be 4 unisex toilets by the café for use during the pool opening times by park and centre users.
Will there be water fountains for park users? Yes. There will be water fountains in the café.

Please note: any comments about the management of the centres have been passed onto Everyone Active.