New Pentwyn pool bigger than original plans suggest – but wave machine axed

The revamped pool plans had been dubbed a ‘glorified paddling pool’

PENTWYN swimmers will enjoy a larger pool than originally expected – but new plans will not include much-loved elements of the old pool.

The pool at Pentwyn Leisure Centre closed three and a half years ago at the start of COVID-19 but new adapted plans have emerged to redevelop it.

This follows a backlash from local councillors and residents after the council first announced the new pool would be a 20m by 8m “learn to swim pool” with a large focus on paddle tennis. Speaking about the original plans, Councillor Joe Carter of Pentwyn ward said: “It was a glorified paddling pool.”

The new pool will now be 25m by 12m with a depth of 1.4m. That is comparable with the pools at Maindy and Eastern leisure centres and won’t be much smaller than the old pool at Pentwyn. The new pool should also see the return of school swimming lessons and free swimming for under-16s and over 60s in the area.

However, it would see a larger focus on swimming rather than leisure with the slides and wave machine being cut from the pool due to the equipment which is needed to run it. This will make the pool more appealing for swimmers, but less so for parents of young children. The council claim this will mean the pool is more usable.

Despite the adjusted plans, there is still criticism from some residents.

Rhian Vernall, who set up the Save Pentwyn Leisure Centre group, said: “The revised plans for the new pool are really disappointing. The pool has always been extremely popular with families due to the slide and wave machine, and the beach pool access made it accessible for people with disabilities. However all of these things will be lost if the plans go ahead.” She believes the plans will make the pool poorer than it was before.

Questions have also been raised about whether the old pool needs replacing. However the council has insisted that it would require significant maintenance to get it up and running again after three years and say this is not possible.

But when will residents be able to access this new pool? Councillor Jennifer Burke, the Cabinet member for Culture, Parks and Events, said: “I would hope that we can undertake the work quite quickly, but I’m not going to pin myself down to a date.”

The council has also said that residents should be able to view these plans within the next month at Pentwyn leisure centre.