Officers from the council’s conservation team recently visited the Saltdean Lido, which is on English Heritage's "At Risk" register, to assess its condition. They are now considering next steps forward. Options include serving a notice on the operator requiring repairs to be made. Non-compliance with such a notice could lead to compulsory purchase of the leasehold interest.
A new Brighton & Hove City Council report also signals that the authority, which owns the building, would be willing to take back the lease if suitable terms could be agreed.
The authority as landlord has already served a legal notice on the leaseholder in May 2010 requiring a list of repairs to be made. There is currently a dispute between the council, which owns the freehold of the building, and the leaseholder about the extent to which this has been done and the quality of repairs.
The council is also set to introduce a new monitoring regime to ensure the leaseholder regularly opens the pool to the public.
Alleged infrequent opening and the condition of the building have been the focus of a local campaign and a petition which prompted a council debate last month.
Cabinet councillor for culture Geoffrey Bowden said: “At the same time as pursuing the legal route over the state of the building, we’re now seeking an official view from our conservation experts. I’m expecting this will strengthen our hand.”
While campaigners have been demanding the council withdraws the lease, council lawyers say a court is unlikely to support such a move unless and until negotiations with the lessee have broken down.
Councillor Bowden added: “I completely share campaigners’ frustration but for now we must pursue other ways of keeping the pressure on the leaseholder to repair the building and open it regularly. We want a vibrant, accessible Lido that plays a full part in the life of the local community and city as a whole.”
A report updating the position is expected to go to the next of Councillor Bowden’s regular decision-making meetings on December 6.
See also:- Save the Saltdean Lido Campaign - latest