Building problems force another closure at Waddon pool

The swimming pool at Waddon Leisure Centre is part-closed again, for the second time in just a couple of months. The Waddon Leisure Centre was opened in January 2013, but has been prone to a range of snagging issues with the build quality, as well as controversially charging local residents a pricy £44 a month to use it.

Waddon Leisure Centre: £44 per month with a swimming pool that's frequently closed

The hideous-looking Waddon Leisure Centre: £44 per month charged to residents, yet with a swimming pool that’s frequently closed

At the end of last year, in the midst of the school holidays period, the pool had to be shut altogether for almost a week when windows were blown in by the strong winter winds. New glass had to be fitted and the structure given a safety check to ensure pool users would not be at risk in case of another puff of wind.

Now, the deep end of the pool is closed as the brackets holding the air conditioning pipes to the ceiling have come away. One industrial-looking pipe is hanging a few feet above the water.

“It’s been like that for more than two weeks,” Inside Croydon’s loyal reader said.

“The staff aren’t bothered, which sums up the whole vibe of the place. The manager told me with a shrug, ‘We’ve shut that end of the pool cos it might fall down and you know what people are like’.” Well…

“If you can’t use the full pool, it’s hardly great value for the £44 I’m paying each month.”

Close to the Fiveways junction on Purley Way, the leisure centre building, designed (if that’s the word) by EPR Architects, is believed to have cost around £15 million – or about one-tenth of the cost of Croydon Council’s new head office building, Fisher’s Folly. Both were built as part of the council’s CCURV joint venture with John Laing, and both buildings have suffered from a series of problems with the finish of the work, including leaking roofs and taps that spray water across the floors of the toilets.

The leisure centre build did not use all of the site, and Croydon’s Tory-controlled council recently opted to sell-off the unused area to outside developers because they could not agree a realistic price for the land with CCURV, their own joint venture.

Waddon ward has three Conservative councillors, and is likely to be key in the outcome of May’s Town Hall elections.

In their campaign leaflets the Tories have, in all seriousness, been describing Waddon Leisure Centre as a “key infrastructure project”. They illustrate it alongside the East Croydon Station footbridge… Yes, the one which has not been completed with an entrance on the Addiscombe side because the council fouled up its planning agreement with private developers.

Oddly, the Conservative election leaflets, which point out so forcibly how good they are at managing our money, makes no mention of the £140 million-plus bill for the council’s headquarters offices. Now how much is that costing every Council Tax-paying household in the borough?

“Key infrastructure” in Croydon: closed swimming pools; £20,000 spent on replacement bathroom taps in a new £140 million public building; and a £22 million Bridge to Nowhere. Pure genius.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2014 council elections, Bernard Weatherill House, Clare Hilley, Croydon Council, East Croydon, Planning, Purley Way, Simon Hoar, Swimming, Tony Harris, URV, Waddon and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Building problems force another closure at Waddon pool

  1. spideysaves says:

    It was also built at the expense of scrapping the plans for the agreed development in South Norwood, which cost them more to buy out the contracts, and bodge together the exiting centre.

  2. farmersboy says:

    When the Waddon Tories knocked on our door last Sunday I asked how much the new street lights cost. First they said it was paid for by central government then they said it won’t cost us a penny as it’s done under a PFI agreement. I must go and check how PFI works as if it’s free it would be a great way to pay for hospitals. Oh.

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