Bellway reveals plan for 168 homes around lido diving board

A housing developer wants to build nearly 170 homes around a Grade II-listed Art Deco diving board.

This will make an interesting feature: the diving board, listed because of its design and concrete construction

The site of the former Purley Way Lido has been disused since the end of 2018, after the garden centre that had been based there for nearly 40 years closed for business.

Today, Bellway announced that they had exchanged contracts to acquire the land for an estimated 168 homes.  Subject, of course, to planning permission being granted by Croydon Council.

When Purley Way Lido opened in 1935, it was just across the busy A23 from Croydon Airport. The Lido closed in 1979 and the pool filled in for the garden centre.

The illustration of generic blocks of flats distributed with Bellway’s announcement today

Today, the site off Waddon Way is adjacent to Croydon’s Hilton Hotel, and a short walk from the council-owned Colonnades centre, with acres of playing fields on its doorstep.

In their announcement this morning, Bellway said, “The homes will be built around the existing Grade II-Listed diving board, which will sit at the centre of the development.

“The diving board was given listed status in 2013, as it remains almost perfectly intact following the demolition of the lido.”

Bellway says that they are in discussions with Croydon Council and the Greater London Authority over the scheme, “which will comprise a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for both private sale and affordable rent”.

The scheme will also include 6,000sq ft of commercial space for up to five retail or office units. Bellway are promising “an estimated £2.5million” in community and infrastructure contributions as part of the development.

“We are honoured to be able to deliver new housing on a site with so much recognisable history, both within the development and around it,” said Daniel Bradbury, Bellway’s south London regional director.

The Purley Way Lido, with feature diving board, in its pomp in the 1930s

“This development is being designed to suit a range of homebuyers’ requirements, with everything from starter homes to family living spaces.

“We are currently finalising our designs for a high-quality development which will frame the listed centrepiece and will fit seamlessly into this vibrant part of Croydon.

“We aim to begin construction work later this year and to have the first of the homes ready for occupation in 2022.”

But local residents have already been in touch with Inside Croydon to air a seemingly perennial planning concern: parking.

“Why is there no commitment to work with the local community on the design of this scheme?” they said.

“I hope that Bellway recognise that finding somewhere to park on-street in this part of Waddon is already nigh impossible.

“Unless they want a fight with existing local residents, their plans had better provide truly adequate off-street parking.”

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15 Responses to Bellway reveals plan for 168 homes around lido diving board

  1. dick budgen says:

    Remember that board well. Such a shame the Lido is no more.

  2. Lewis White says:

    Instead of commercial, why not have a swimming pool for residents at the heart of the development? A green courtyard with a pool for the children and other residents, instead of yet another fast food drive-thru ? Surely we have enough commercial at the Collonades and nearby Business /retail “parks” ?

    • Oh do get real, Lewis. No developer wants to risk blighting a project with the threat of saddling potential leaseholders with huge service charges caused by the need to maintain a privately run swimming pool, together with the essential H&S costs of employing lifeguards. It just isn’t feasible.

      It’s another way where the private sector lumps the costs of its amenities on to local authorities.

      The decision to close the Lido, and build that wonderful, modern Water Palace just up the road is looking positively inspired now, isn’t it? Oh wait…

    • There is a public swimming pool 10 minutes walk away..I very much doubt one could make the economics work having two in such close proximity. Croydon council finds every excuse not to keep Purley pool open, even with public service obligations, so a private landlord would not touch such a scheme.

      • Now you mention it, Neil, there’s a second pool, possibly even closer, which was built with a significant chunk of public/Lottery money. Not that Whitgift School has ever thrown open its doors for public use, except where clubs pay hefty hire fees for the privilege…

  3. It’s a good job that Croydon is immune from the climate emergency that people everywhere else are worried about. Bellway should just build a drive-thru McDonalds and multi-storey car park with flats on top.

  4. moyagordon says:

    Hmmm, just checked out Bellway’s website, they could do with employing some more imaginative architects. Did a google search on reviews of their homes, not great, a good deal of negative feedback.

  5. Lewis White says:

    I can’t really see the point of keeping the diving board marooned as a useless feature in the new development. Such concrete structures need to be kept freshly white-painted or they quickly get water-stained and mouldy. They cost a lot to maintain. Bellway will also have to devise a very tall fence, with warning notices, and defensive system almost certainly involving metal whirly devices (mainly very ugly) to stop people from climbing it and risking a (probably fatal) fall from height. It might well end up surrounded by spiked top fencing with razor wire festoons at upper levels. I would rather see a nicely designed mini park and some trees. There is something deeply disappointing about a diving board missing its pool, in any case. A bit like a dead plam tree standing next to a dried-up oasis. Knock it down, and make a really good job of a sign, mosaic or sculpture to remember the pool by.

    I also hope that the children will be given a good playground on site –or that Bellway are required to pay a substantial sum to enable the council to re-design the existing public playground a few hundred metres to the East–this is currently a bleak, “tarmac desert” of a place, with metal items plonked on a hard surface — like playground used to be in the days of “keep off the grass”.

    Boring !

  6. Why oh why can this not be brought back to use a a lido, our nearest ones are Not actually very accessible. It could host year round swimming for the brave and hardy, and be a godsend in the summer months

    • “Why oh why”? This isn’t the letters page of Viz, you know.

      Short (and obvious) answer to your question: the enormous cost, as well as prohibitive running costs (which was a large part of the reason it was closed in the first place).

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