Olympian Peter Waterfield joins calls to save diving board 'stepping stone' to success

Olympian joins calls to save diving board 'stepping stone' to success

Peter Waterfield and Tom Daley

Peter Waterfield

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

One of the biggest names in British diving has spoken out against plans by Waltham Forest Council to get rid of a 5m diving board as part of a multi-million pound sports centre refurbishment.

Olympic medal winner Peter Waterfield learned to dive at Pool and Track in Chingford Road, Walthamstow, aged just nine.

He went on to win championships all over the country, gold at the Commonwealth Games and Britain’s first Olympic diving medal since 1960 in 2004 in Athens.

He went on to partner Tom Daley at the 2012 Olympics.

But the board he used to launch his career will not be replaced under the plans, which cost about £23million. 

Mr Waterfield, 33, who grew up in Billet Road, specialises in 10m platform diving.

He has told the Guardian that without the 5m board, he may never have dived from a higher board.

Mr Waterfield said: “It’s a board that you have to get up to before the 10m boards. It is a stepping stone.

“Waltham Forest Pool and Track was where I started my career. Having that facility close to my home was brilliant.

“The 5m board is really important. Without it you would not get to the high boards.

“Smaller spring boards will not teach you how to become a platform diver.”

Mr Waterfield has now retired and works hard to keep young people interested in diving, something which he is asking Waltham Forest Council to do, too.

He said: “Diving as a sport has got a lot bigger, there is a lot more interest in it.

“You need a facility where people can come and try the sport.

“I would encourage them to put a 5m board back in. It is a massive stepping stone if you want to become a high board diver.

“It is great that there is the new facility down the road in Stratford but if you take away the 5m board in Waltham Forest then some children won’t get to try high board diving.

“What about the children who can’t afford to get there?”

The decision not to include the board in the new facility was criticised by parents of club members and a petition has more than 400 signatures.

There have also been claims that the club was not consulted on the decison.

A council spokesperson said: “While other councils have decided to close diving facilities completely to make savings, we have made a commitment to retaining them in the newly refurbished leisure centre.

"The decision not to include a 5m board within the new centre was not taken lightly and was based on cost, the use of each size of board and the fact that there is a 5m board just across the borough at the Olympic-standard London Aquatics Centre.

“We have met with the Waltham Forest Diving Club on numerous occasions and even changed our plans following those discussions, but have to refurbish the centre within a set budget unfortunately.”

 

Comments (23)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:42pm Tue 20 May 14

cynicalsue says...

Let's just hope for a change in Leardership from Thursday, to a Council that responds to its residents needs, not just to their own Councillors bank balances.
Let's just hope for a change in Leardership from Thursday, to a Council that responds to its residents needs, not just to their own Councillors bank balances. cynicalsue
  • Score: 8

4:35pm Tue 20 May 14

Mumsworkhard says...

If the only issue with not putting the 5 metre back is just down to cost . Why did the council not give an option for locals to fundraise???
Instead have tried to keep plans quite. I have seen plans the council seems to think having a lovely big spa area is of more importance!!!
They are only offering a 25m pool!!! With boards in same pool as swimming!!!
Nearly ALL centres which offer diving have a separate pit or at least a boom
To separate the two.
If the only issue with not putting the 5 metre back is just down to cost . Why did the council not give an option for locals to fundraise??? Instead have tried to keep plans quite. I have seen plans the council seems to think having a lovely big spa area is of more importance!!! They are only offering a 25m pool!!! With boards in same pool as swimming!!! Nearly ALL centres which offer diving have a separate pit or at least a boom To separate the two. Mumsworkhard
  • Score: 16

4:46pm Tue 20 May 14

rachelbettelley@hotmail.com says...

Stealth tactics, evasion and now the main excuse is cost. Pool and track is a flagship facility that the council has deliberately downgraded, with minimal consultation with the diving club. No consultation with residents and no plans to view what the council had in mind. If they read the comments of the 500 plus signatures on the petition they would realise the 5m board is something that needs to be kept. The diving facilities at the Aquacentre are not as accessible to Waltham Forest residents nor are the facilities available for the public to use as frequently as pool and track dive pool is.
Stealth tactics, evasion and now the main excuse is cost. Pool and track is a flagship facility that the council has deliberately downgraded, with minimal consultation with the diving club. No consultation with residents and no plans to view what the council had in mind. If they read the comments of the 500 plus signatures on the petition they would realise the 5m board is something that needs to be kept. The diving facilities at the Aquacentre are not as accessible to Waltham Forest residents nor are the facilities available for the public to use as frequently as pool and track dive pool is. rachelbettelley@hotmail.com
  • Score: 13

5:53pm Tue 20 May 14

Jake Ferguson says...

If the Council are genuine about the sporting interests of residents then they need to start the process again, properly consulting local people this time ( not just national bodies interested in just 'elite diving'). It's disgusting that they can spend so much money redeveloping the pool and track without talking to people - it should be an improvement not a downgrade. If they had any courage they would own up to they're mistakes and go back to the drawing board.
If the Council are genuine about the sporting interests of residents then they need to start the process again, properly consulting local people this time ( not just national bodies interested in just 'elite diving'). It's disgusting that they can spend so much money redeveloping the pool and track without talking to people - it should be an improvement not a downgrade. If they had any courage they would own up to they're mistakes and go back to the drawing board. Jake Ferguson
  • Score: 8

6:21pm Tue 20 May 14

rachelbettelley@hotmail.com says...

I am at the Aqua Centre watching my daughter enjoy her diving lesson. I am fuming because the journey from North Chingford took me over an hour in rush hour traffic and then I have to pay £3 to park. The journey and the expense will put off future parents coming to Stratford. Walthamstow needs to keep it's diving facilities this arrangement is truly dire for parents.
I am at the Aqua Centre watching my daughter enjoy her diving lesson. I am fuming because the journey from North Chingford took me over an hour in rush hour traffic and then I have to pay £3 to park. The journey and the expense will put off future parents coming to Stratford. Walthamstow needs to keep it's diving facilities this arrangement is truly dire for parents. rachelbettelley@hotmail.com
  • Score: 10

7:02pm Tue 20 May 14

DancingDi says...

Thanks for the article Peter. The drive to
Stratford is painful and having to pay for parking is an insult! Consult and put back our 5m board!
Thanks for the article Peter. The drive to Stratford is painful and having to pay for parking is an insult! Consult and put back our 5m board! DancingDi
  • Score: 10

7:20pm Tue 20 May 14

stickmanny says...

DancingDi wrote:
Thanks for the article Peter. The drive to
Stratford is painful and having to pay for parking is an insult! Consult and put back our 5m board!
Get the bus?
[quote][p][bold]DancingDi[/bold] wrote: Thanks for the article Peter. The drive to Stratford is painful and having to pay for parking is an insult! Consult and put back our 5m board![/p][/quote]Get the bus? stickmanny
  • Score: -8

7:39pm Tue 20 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

DancingDi wrote:
Thanks for the article Peter. The drive to
Stratford is painful and having to pay for parking is an insult! Consult and put back our 5m board!
Walk?
Good exercise, free.
[quote][p][bold]DancingDi[/bold] wrote: Thanks for the article Peter. The drive to Stratford is painful and having to pay for parking is an insult! Consult and put back our 5m board![/p][/quote]Walk? Good exercise, free. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 7

7:47pm Tue 20 May 14

Steve Sullivan says...

The Pool & Track diving boards are used by so many - who has not been jealous of those brave souls who go off the top board? How many legitimate / cheap highs are there available to youngsters? If the diving boards are within the swimming pool I cannot see how they will be available during lane swimming times - is this just another cop out on the way to removing them altogether? The diving pit at Stratford as far as I am aware is not open to the public - only to clubs. Why is this not a better facility than the one we had before? This is seriously disappointing.....
The Pool & Track diving boards are used by so many - who has not been jealous of those brave souls who go off the top board? How many legitimate / cheap highs are there available to youngsters? If the diving boards are within the swimming pool I cannot see how they will be available during lane swimming times - is this just another cop out on the way to removing them altogether? The diving pit at Stratford as far as I am aware is not open to the public - only to clubs. Why is this not a better facility than the one we had before? This is seriously disappointing..... Steve Sullivan
  • Score: 8

8:53pm Tue 20 May 14

Jim McNally says...

The proposed loss of this local facility is extremely disappointing; as Pete Waterfield rightly states, local diving pools need a five metre board in order to encourage young divers to develop their skills on the high board. In addition, I am concerned at the apparent lack of consultation and the fact that it is proposed to site all the diving boards within the confines of a swimming pool, with no physical separation; this will, in my experience, lead to less pool time available to diving, as swimmers will take up all the available hours and the consequential removal of those boards on the spurious grounds that they are not used.

If the plans go ahead, as outlined, I predict that in 5 years time all the diving boards at Waltham Forest will be taken out, which will be a tragedy for the people of Waltham Forest and yet another nail in the coffin of the sport.

Jim McNally
President
Great Britain Diving Federation
The proposed loss of this local facility is extremely disappointing; as Pete Waterfield rightly states, local diving pools need a five metre board in order to encourage young divers to develop their skills on the high board. In addition, I am concerned at the apparent lack of consultation and the fact that it is proposed to site all the diving boards within the confines of a swimming pool, with no physical separation; this will, in my experience, lead to less pool time available to diving, as swimmers will take up all the available hours and the consequential removal of those boards on the spurious grounds that they are not used. If the plans go ahead, as outlined, I predict that in 5 years time all the diving boards at Waltham Forest will be taken out, which will be a tragedy for the people of Waltham Forest and yet another nail in the coffin of the sport. Jim McNally President Great Britain Diving Federation Jim McNally
  • Score: 18

10:11pm Tue 20 May 14

rachelbettelley@hotmail.com says...

Speaking to manager tonight at Aqua Centre the Diving Pool is only open for 6 hours hours to general public. This makes diving in this centre an elite club sport which is not accessible to the general public. Pool and track had the dive pit and boards accessible to all regularly and there would be queues to use it.
If Pool and track lose the dive facilities then the future generations of Waltham Forest are seriously short changed.
The Olympic Legacy Ends at Pool and Track.
Speaking to manager tonight at Aqua Centre the Diving Pool is only open for 6 hours hours to general public. This makes diving in this centre an elite club sport which is not accessible to the general public. Pool and track had the dive pit and boards accessible to all regularly and there would be queues to use it. If Pool and track lose the dive facilities then the future generations of Waltham Forest are seriously short changed. The Olympic Legacy Ends at Pool and Track. rachelbettelley@hotmail.com
  • Score: 12

10:39pm Tue 20 May 14

James O'Rourke says...

cynicalsue wrote:
Let's just hope for a change in Leardership from Thursday, to a Council that responds to its residents needs, not just to their own Councillors bank balances.
The only leadership challenge to Cllr Robbins is rumored to be from Cllr Loakes.
If Loakes were to challenge and win the leadership we need to remember it was under his tenure as Leader of the Council we got "It's Happening Here" Olympic legacy.
[quote][p][bold]cynicalsue[/bold] wrote: Let's just hope for a change in Leardership from Thursday, to a Council that responds to its residents needs, not just to their own Councillors bank balances.[/p][/quote]The only leadership challenge to Cllr Robbins is rumored to be from Cllr Loakes. If Loakes were to challenge and win the leadership we need to remember it was under his tenure as Leader of the Council we got "It's Happening Here" Olympic legacy. James O'Rourke
  • Score: 6

11:40pm Tue 20 May 14

ICapesy says...

LBWF have had precisely no consultation with LOCAL stakeholder club users of the Pool and Track. Nor have they made any attempt to gather the opinions of the wider general public session diving pit users. Leisure Services should get themselves down to an evening public diving session to tell the youth divers they are taking away their highest board. Then they would realise how much it means to leisure users!

An official LBWF briefing paper to Stella Creasy MP from the Head of Waltham Forest Leisure Services clearly states that only the national Amateur Swimming Association and British Diving (part of the ASA) and regional London Swimming were consulted. This document was sent to me and many other concerned local people as an email attachment by Cllr Ahsan Khan (Hoe Street ward and LBWF Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing).

The Amateur Swimming Association themselves stated during a club kite marking accreditation process two years ago that "as a bona fide stakeholder group in the Pool & Track" the organised diving group "must be consulted at the earliest stages of the planning process". This involvement was denied to us as well as the sub aqua club and the swimming club - all of whom wanted to work with the council planners at the earliest stages of this £23m rebuild to help specify the optimum facilities for the 50 years+ life of the new centre. Instead the council and their GLL management partner made decisions behind closed doors aided and abetted by the very same ASA and British Diving.

ASA British Diving's very own 'Long term Athlete Development Plan states "New facilities should be encouraged to have platforms at 1, 3 and 5m height". Despite this published policy a British Diving rep introduced as being from Manchester attended a meeting in December 2013 and actively supported the council in excluding a 5m from our new Pool and Track. This was despite the fact local people have enjoyed the use of our iconic 5m diving tower since 1966 and it arguably allowed Waltham Forest born Peter Waterfield to begin his climb to the heights of world class Olympic and Commonwealth achievement.

The current facility has helped produce a world champion diver, it has hosted a successful local volunteer run club for 34 years and is used in public session by many other residents of the borough. Local youth especially who are so often pilloried for not getting involved in any meaningful sporting activity enthusiastically attend public open sessions on several evenings a week.

LBWF, GLL and Cllr Khan especially are all seemingly determined to destroy everything that has been developed locally at the Pool and Track. At the same time they are happily exporting whatever is left over into the neighbouring London Borough of Newham. This is the Olympic Legacy for Waltham Forest.

If you would like to help then please object to the currently published plans which are nothing like the best that could be produced with proper consultation of all local stakeholders. The opportunity to reject the plans exists for just 21 days from 12th May 2014 - ie before Monday 2nd June. The planning reference is 2014 / 0845
LBWF have had precisely no consultation with LOCAL stakeholder club users of the Pool and Track. Nor have they made any attempt to gather the opinions of the wider general public session diving pit users. Leisure Services should get themselves down to an evening public diving session to tell the youth divers they are taking away their highest board. Then they would realise how much it means to leisure users! An official LBWF briefing paper to Stella Creasy MP from the Head of Waltham Forest Leisure Services clearly states that only the national Amateur Swimming Association and British Diving (part of the ASA) and regional London Swimming were consulted. This document was sent to me and many other concerned local people as an email attachment by Cllr Ahsan Khan (Hoe Street ward and LBWF Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing). The Amateur Swimming Association themselves stated during a club kite marking accreditation process two years ago that "as a bona fide stakeholder group in the Pool & Track" the organised diving group "must be consulted at the earliest stages of the planning process". This involvement was denied to us as well as the sub aqua club and the swimming club - all of whom wanted to work with the council planners at the earliest stages of this £23m rebuild to help specify the optimum facilities for the 50 years+ life of the new centre. Instead the council and their GLL management partner made decisions behind closed doors aided and abetted by the very same ASA and British Diving. ASA British Diving's very own 'Long term Athlete Development Plan states "New facilities should be encouraged to have platforms at 1, 3 and 5m height". Despite this published policy a British Diving rep introduced as being from Manchester attended a meeting in December 2013 and actively supported the council in excluding a 5m from our new Pool and Track. This was despite the fact local people have enjoyed the use of our iconic 5m diving tower since 1966 and it arguably allowed Waltham Forest born Peter Waterfield to begin his climb to the heights of world class Olympic and Commonwealth achievement. The current facility has helped produce a world champion diver, it has hosted a successful local volunteer run club for 34 years and is used in public session by many other residents of the borough. Local youth especially who are so often pilloried for not getting involved in any meaningful sporting activity enthusiastically attend public open sessions on several evenings a week. LBWF, GLL and Cllr Khan especially are all seemingly determined to destroy everything that has been developed locally at the Pool and Track. At the same time they are happily exporting whatever is left over into the neighbouring London Borough of Newham. This is the Olympic Legacy for Waltham Forest. If you would like to help then please object to the currently published plans which are nothing like the best that could be produced with proper consultation of all local stakeholders. The opportunity to reject the plans exists for just 21 days from 12th May 2014 - ie before Monday 2nd June. The planning reference is 2014 / 0845 ICapesy
  • Score: 16

12:38am Wed 21 May 14

WF4Dogs says...

Well said ICapesy.

LBWF Council "making decisions behind closed doors", without consulting local stakeholders? Where have we heard this one before? Oh wait... It was the same with the Dog Control Orders and the Council's non-existent 'comprehensive review' which involved 6 people from the town hall sitting in a room then pretending they'd 'conducted a comprehensive review', which was then later exposed as misleading by the Information Commissioner's Office who had conducted an independent investigation, following Waltham Forest 4 Dogs' freedom of information request.

Well done on a good campaign exposing yet again another tyrannical approach to decision-making in this borough. I doubt Thursday's result will change much though, while Robbins & Loakes remain at the helm, the few good Councillors with well intentions are outnumbered & shut down when they raise valid points on behalf of residents
Well said ICapesy. LBWF Council "making decisions behind closed doors", without consulting local stakeholders? Where have we heard this one before? Oh wait... It was the same with the Dog Control Orders and the Council's non-existent 'comprehensive review' which involved 6 people from the town hall sitting in a room then pretending they'd 'conducted a comprehensive review', which was then later exposed as misleading by the Information Commissioner's Office who had conducted an independent investigation, following Waltham Forest 4 Dogs' freedom of information request. Well done on a good campaign exposing yet again another tyrannical approach to decision-making in this borough. I doubt Thursday's result will change much though, while Robbins & Loakes remain at the helm, the few good Councillors with well intentions are outnumbered & shut down when they raise valid points on behalf of residents WF4Dogs
  • Score: 15

2:33am Wed 21 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

ICapesy wrote:
LBWF have had precisely no consultation with LOCAL stakeholder club users of the Pool and Track. Nor have they made any attempt to gather the opinions of the wider general public session diving pit users. Leisure Services should get themselves down to an evening public diving session to tell the youth divers they are taking away their highest board. Then they would realise how much it means to leisure users!

An official LBWF briefing paper to Stella Creasy MP from the Head of Waltham Forest Leisure Services clearly states that only the national Amateur Swimming Association and British Diving (part of the ASA) and regional London Swimming were consulted. This document was sent to me and many other concerned local people as an email attachment by Cllr Ahsan Khan (Hoe Street ward and LBWF Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing).

The Amateur Swimming Association themselves stated during a club kite marking accreditation process two years ago that "as a bona fide stakeholder group in the Pool & Track" the organised diving group "must be consulted at the earliest stages of the planning process". This involvement was denied to us as well as the sub aqua club and the swimming club - all of whom wanted to work with the council planners at the earliest stages of this £23m rebuild to help specify the optimum facilities for the 50 years+ life of the new centre. Instead the council and their GLL management partner made decisions behind closed doors aided and abetted by the very same ASA and British Diving.

ASA British Diving's very own 'Long term Athlete Development Plan states "New facilities should be encouraged to have platforms at 1, 3 and 5m height". Despite this published policy a British Diving rep introduced as being from Manchester attended a meeting in December 2013 and actively supported the council in excluding a 5m from our new Pool and Track. This was despite the fact local people have enjoyed the use of our iconic 5m diving tower since 1966 and it arguably allowed Waltham Forest born Peter Waterfield to begin his climb to the heights of world class Olympic and Commonwealth achievement.

The current facility has helped produce a world champion diver, it has hosted a successful local volunteer run club for 34 years and is used in public session by many other residents of the borough. Local youth especially who are so often pilloried for not getting involved in any meaningful sporting activity enthusiastically attend public open sessions on several evenings a week.

LBWF, GLL and Cllr Khan especially are all seemingly determined to destroy everything that has been developed locally at the Pool and Track. At the same time they are happily exporting whatever is left over into the neighbouring London Borough of Newham. This is the Olympic Legacy for Waltham Forest.

If you would like to help then please object to the currently published plans which are nothing like the best that could be produced with proper consultation of all local stakeholders. The opportunity to reject the plans exists for just 21 days from 12th May 2014 - ie before Monday 2nd June. The planning reference is 2014 / 0845
Have you ever heard of brevity?
[quote][p][bold]ICapesy[/bold] wrote: LBWF have had precisely no consultation with LOCAL stakeholder club users of the Pool and Track. Nor have they made any attempt to gather the opinions of the wider general public session diving pit users. Leisure Services should get themselves down to an evening public diving session to tell the youth divers they are taking away their highest board. Then they would realise how much it means to leisure users! An official LBWF briefing paper to Stella Creasy MP from the Head of Waltham Forest Leisure Services clearly states that only the national Amateur Swimming Association and British Diving (part of the ASA) and regional London Swimming were consulted. This document was sent to me and many other concerned local people as an email attachment by Cllr Ahsan Khan (Hoe Street ward and LBWF Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing). The Amateur Swimming Association themselves stated during a club kite marking accreditation process two years ago that "as a bona fide stakeholder group in the Pool & Track" the organised diving group "must be consulted at the earliest stages of the planning process". This involvement was denied to us as well as the sub aqua club and the swimming club - all of whom wanted to work with the council planners at the earliest stages of this £23m rebuild to help specify the optimum facilities for the 50 years+ life of the new centre. Instead the council and their GLL management partner made decisions behind closed doors aided and abetted by the very same ASA and British Diving. ASA British Diving's very own 'Long term Athlete Development Plan states "New facilities should be encouraged to have platforms at 1, 3 and 5m height". Despite this published policy a British Diving rep introduced as being from Manchester attended a meeting in December 2013 and actively supported the council in excluding a 5m from our new Pool and Track. This was despite the fact local people have enjoyed the use of our iconic 5m diving tower since 1966 and it arguably allowed Waltham Forest born Peter Waterfield to begin his climb to the heights of world class Olympic and Commonwealth achievement. The current facility has helped produce a world champion diver, it has hosted a successful local volunteer run club for 34 years and is used in public session by many other residents of the borough. Local youth especially who are so often pilloried for not getting involved in any meaningful sporting activity enthusiastically attend public open sessions on several evenings a week. LBWF, GLL and Cllr Khan especially are all seemingly determined to destroy everything that has been developed locally at the Pool and Track. At the same time they are happily exporting whatever is left over into the neighbouring London Borough of Newham. This is the Olympic Legacy for Waltham Forest. If you would like to help then please object to the currently published plans which are nothing like the best that could be produced with proper consultation of all local stakeholders. The opportunity to reject the plans exists for just 21 days from 12th May 2014 - ie before Monday 2nd June. The planning reference is 2014 / 0845[/p][/quote]Have you ever heard of brevity? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -9

11:21am Wed 21 May 14

mdj says...

'A council spokesperson said..'

You always know the decision's a stinker when the spokesman doesn't want to be identified.
This time we aren't even allowed to know their gender!

This is the same old top-down, secretive, we-know-best kind of decision-making that has caused this borough to stagnate for a generation.

Somebody obviously screwed up at the design or budgeting stage, and thought - not being a swimmer themselves - that this amenity was not important.
Designing a replacement building must have included this feature in the brief: who, and at what stage, decided otherwise?

There is always a possibility that undeclared turf rivalries have caused this decision.
There are very plausible stories of councillors in this borough sabotaging improvement schemes here that might have competed with amenities in Newham, where they had day jobs.

How many of us even know what our councillors do for a living?
'A council spokesperson said..' You always know the decision's a stinker when the spokesman doesn't want to be identified. This time we aren't even allowed to know their gender! This is the same old top-down, secretive, we-know-best kind of decision-making that has caused this borough to stagnate for a generation. Somebody obviously screwed up at the design or budgeting stage, and thought - not being a swimmer themselves - that this amenity was not important. Designing a replacement building must have included this feature in the brief: who, and at what stage, decided otherwise? There is always a possibility that undeclared turf rivalries have caused this decision. There are very plausible stories of councillors in this borough sabotaging improvement schemes here that might have competed with amenities in Newham, where they had day jobs. How many of us even know what our councillors do for a living? mdj
  • Score: 10

12:03pm Wed 21 May 14

ICapesy says...

There is an online petition at:-

http://www.gopetitio
n.com/petitions/save
-the-5-metre-diving-
board-at-walthamstow
-pool-and-track/sign
.html

if anybody wants to add their support for proper LOCAL consultation.

Also, if you want to object to the current plans (Ref 2014/0845) then you have until 27th May 2014 to do so. The link is:-

https://www.walthamf
orest.gov.uk/Pages/O
nlineForms/comment-o
n-a-live-planning-ap
plication.aspx
There is an online petition at:- http://www.gopetitio n.com/petitions/save -the-5-metre-diving- board-at-walthamstow -pool-and-track/sign .html if anybody wants to add their support for proper LOCAL consultation. Also, if you want to object to the current plans (Ref 2014/0845) then you have until 27th May 2014 to do so. The link is:- https://www.walthamf orest.gov.uk/Pages/O nlineForms/comment-o n-a-live-planning-ap plication.aspx ICapesy
  • Score: 8

10:21pm Wed 21 May 14

ICapesy says...

Once again to the council's credit public open session was in full swing this evening. Kids and teenagers enjoying themselves on all the boards in a segregated diving pit. It is a great pity that this will all just be history if Cllr Ahsan Khan, the Head of Leisure Services at Waltham Forest council, GLL and of course British Diving and the ASA have their way.

Help stop this happening by objecting to the plans on the council planning website:- https://www.walthamf
orest.gov.uk/Pages/O
nlineForms/comment-o
n-a-live-planning-ap
plication.aspx

The planning reference number is ref 2014 / 0845 and the address is 170 Chingford Road. Object on the grounds that there has been no consultation with local users and local stakeholder groups at the Pool and Track. We have proof that they have not consulted locally in the briefing document released by Cllr Khan. Add your own personal objections too.

We can get a far better Pool and Track for the next 50 years if the decision makers at least listen to the people who will actually be using it - swimmers, high board divers, sub aqua divers, synchro swimmers, baby and toddler groups and public session users. None of the above have been asked their opinion about their needs. This flawed and inadequate design has been decided behind closed doors. Waltham Forest Leisure Services whose responsibility is to local WF residents have taken advice exclusively from interests outside our borough - Newham and national bodies. Leisure Services have shown zero interest in canvassing the opinion and input of genuine local users of the current Pool and Track facilities.
Once again to the council's credit public open session was in full swing this evening. Kids and teenagers enjoying themselves on all the boards in a segregated diving pit. It is a great pity that this will all just be history if Cllr Ahsan Khan, the Head of Leisure Services at Waltham Forest council, GLL and of course British Diving and the ASA have their way. Help stop this happening by objecting to the plans on the council planning website:- https://www.walthamf orest.gov.uk/Pages/O nlineForms/comment-o n-a-live-planning-ap plication.aspx The planning reference number is ref 2014 / 0845 and the address is 170 Chingford Road. Object on the grounds that there has been no consultation with local users and local stakeholder groups at the Pool and Track. We have proof that they have not consulted locally in the briefing document released by Cllr Khan. Add your own personal objections too. We can get a far better Pool and Track for the next 50 years if the decision makers at least listen to the people who will actually be using it - swimmers, high board divers, sub aqua divers, synchro swimmers, baby and toddler groups and public session users. None of the above have been asked their opinion about their needs. This flawed and inadequate design has been decided behind closed doors. Waltham Forest Leisure Services whose responsibility is to local WF residents have taken advice exclusively from interests outside our borough - Newham and national bodies. Leisure Services have shown zero interest in canvassing the opinion and input of genuine local users of the current Pool and Track facilities. ICapesy
  • Score: 8

9:16am Thu 22 May 14

Boulty72 says...

Let's hope today sees a change in the Borough's leadership and that they will listen to the concerns and needs of local residents. How can the council leaders ignore our own bred Olympic champion Peter Waterfield's statement in replacing our 5m board and acknowledge that residents want our diving pit back like-4-like?

As for the Aquatics centre 'just being down the road' is irrelevant. Over the next 10 years the aquatics centre will be swallowed into Newham's regeneration of the area and will be largely used by their residents. Where will this leave us residents of Waltham Forest? Sold out by our own council who can not look no further then their bank balance and not for the vision of our own Borough's regeneration plans.

From my understanding the Council used their own (in house) architect to design the plans for the new pool and track. Why did they not consider putting the project out to tender for other architects to design plans that would accommodate all the residents and local clubs needs within the price?
Let's hope today sees a change in the Borough's leadership and that they will listen to the concerns and needs of local residents. How can the council leaders ignore our own bred Olympic champion Peter Waterfield's statement in replacing our 5m board and acknowledge that residents want our diving pit back like-4-like? As for the Aquatics centre 'just being down the road' is irrelevant. Over the next 10 years the aquatics centre will be swallowed into Newham's regeneration of the area and will be largely used by their residents. Where will this leave us residents of Waltham Forest? Sold out by our own council who can not look no further then their bank balance and not for the vision of our own Borough's regeneration plans. From my understanding the Council used their own (in house) architect to design the plans for the new pool and track. Why did they not consider putting the project out to tender for other architects to design plans that would accommodate all the residents and local clubs needs within the price? Boulty72
  • Score: 8

3:31pm Thu 22 May 14

GayeAllcorn says...

Well said Pete Waterfield. However it is not just the loss of the 5m platform, the entire diving pit is being lost so that the boards jut out over the main swimming pool. The income from the swimming lessons will take precedence over everything else and no-one will be able to use the boards. As it is (with a separate diving pit), the Pool and Track only see fit to allow the public to dive a few times a week and then, often they close it due to staff shortages. It is always the first thing to go. This is a crying shame when we have people like Pete and Tom Daley inspiring the youngsters to have a go. There are no open diving sessions at the Aquatic Centre - which is IN ANOTHER BOROUGH - so you cannot just go and dive there so it is not an equivalent facility at all. Even if you decide to pay for lessons it costs a small fortune to park or takes an hour each way on the bus. Why are our young people being let down, especially after our success in staging the Olympic Games?
Well said Pete Waterfield. However it is not just the loss of the 5m platform, the entire diving pit is being lost so that the boards jut out over the main swimming pool. The income from the swimming lessons will take precedence over everything else and no-one will be able to use the boards. As it is (with a separate diving pit), the Pool and Track only see fit to allow the public to dive a few times a week and then, often they close it due to staff shortages. It is always the first thing to go. This is a crying shame when we have people like Pete and Tom Daley inspiring the youngsters to have a go. There are no open diving sessions at the Aquatic Centre - which is IN ANOTHER BOROUGH - so you cannot just go and dive there so it is not an equivalent facility at all. Even if you decide to pay for lessons it costs a small fortune to park or takes an hour each way on the bus. Why are our young people being let down, especially after our success in staging the Olympic Games? GayeAllcorn
  • Score: 7

4:02pm Thu 22 May 14

rachelbettelley@hotmail.com says...

Not only does it cost a small fortune, with travel expenses, parking, diving instruction fees, but now WFDC no longer has exclusive use, other groups also use the diving pool, which I have no problem with. What I do have a problem with is the adult group numbering 11 were diving from boards on both sides of the pool holding up the tuition of my daughters group, then as their tutor was too busy the WFDC coaches had to get involved and coach this random group of adults off the 5m and 20 m boards. The centre was short staffed so manager was on life guard duty, I pointed out to him the issue regarding safety and eating into the WFDC diving instruction and he agreed that the other groups coach needed to be in better control.
I don 't pay all this money to get treated at the AquaCentre this badly.
It just makes me more keen on keeping the facilities available in Walthamstow because the expense and travel to get to Stratford is not something that residents should have to endure.
Not only does it cost a small fortune, with travel expenses, parking, diving instruction fees, but now WFDC no longer has exclusive use, other groups also use the diving pool, which I have no problem with. What I do have a problem with is the adult group numbering 11 were diving from boards on both sides of the pool holding up the tuition of my daughters group, then as their tutor was too busy the WFDC coaches had to get involved and coach this random group of adults off the 5m and 20 m boards. The centre was short staffed so manager was on life guard duty, I pointed out to him the issue regarding safety and eating into the WFDC diving instruction and he agreed that the other groups coach needed to be in better control. I don 't pay all this money to get treated at the AquaCentre this badly. It just makes me more keen on keeping the facilities available in Walthamstow because the expense and travel to get to Stratford is not something that residents should have to endure. rachelbettelley@hotmail.com
  • Score: 4

7:57am Fri 23 May 14

ICapesy says...

There has been no consultation with LOCAL stakeholder groups using the current Pool and Track. This is a mandatory requirement. The diving club was assured it would be invited to contribute at the earliest stages in various emails over the last 2 years - including 1 from the LBWF planning department. This never happened. The design now being considered was presented as a fait accompli to stakeholder users. The sub aqua stakeholders and the swimming club have also not been consulted. The views of public session divers – especially young people - has certainly not been canvassed.

The proposed plans for the swimming pool have been produced solely on the advice of outside interests from GLL’s Newham Aqua Centre, the national Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and their subsidiary British Diving (BD) plus the regional body London Swimming. These are not LOCAL core stakeholder users. GLL are heavily biased towards swimming on revenue grounds alone. The primary remit of the sports body advisers is competitive with their focus on a pyramid development pathway to find elite sportsmen and women. Public leisure users are not their concern. The narrow range of advice taken by Leisure Services and the exclusion of LOCAL stakeholders and public leisure users invalidates the so called consultation that has produced the new Pool and Track design.

The Great Britain Diving Federation which is independent of swimming opposes the proposed plan but was never invited to contribute to the consultation. They value informal leisure diving as well as elite level competition. Had GBDF been included in the discussions there would have been advice contrary to the ASA / BD view to consider.

The proposed 25m swimming pool with 1m and 3m diving boards at one end in a single body of water is not fit for purpose. It builds in session time and space conflict between swimmers and divers for the projected life of the building. This model was abandoned by councils all over the country in recent decades on health and safety grounds. Placing the boards at the end of the main pool leaves diving at risk of being marginalised and eventually lost for good. GLL’s strongest argument during the process to date has been based on swimming revenue streams so their commitment to diving is questionable. GLL’s assertions have never been challenged properly nor have figures ever been made available to outside scrutiny. A critical planning decision is being made on un-evidenced revenue grounds with alternative views silenced by exclusion from the preliminary discussions. The severe down grading of the diving facility from that currently enjoyed by Pool and Track users is based on false or out of date assumptions which have not been adequately challenged.

Diving is clearly very popular – often there are more public users on the diving boards than in the main pool during public sessions. Pool and Track is based in Waltham Forest. The replacement facility is for current and future generations of Waltham Forest residents over the next 50 years. What exists over the border in the London Borough of Newham is of no relevance. The Head of Leisure Services and her team have placed undue emphasis on facilities in a different borough. The existing well used diving facility at Pool and Track is being severely downgraded in this rebuild plan on the basis of alleged ‘proximity’ to the Newham Aqua centre. The assertions made by GLL, the ASA and British Diving about ease of access and low journey times have not been born out in reality by diving club parents in the first few weeks of travelling over there. There are Green issues too with the council encouraging longer journeys to access a 5m facility Waltham Forest residents have had use of locally since 1966.

The current Pool and Track site is very wasteful of available space. There is a huge footprint of land available for this project given the current building and the land around it. A definitive water sports layout – baby pool, main pool and diving pit -should be the core around which all other additions such as spa area, cafe and dry sports gyms are located. We have been told that only one LBWF in house architectural design was commissioned. The specification from the council did not include retaining separate diving and 5m platform hence understandably none was built into the design plan. The project is estimated to be costing £23m. Commissioning at least one alternative external architectural opinion would be appropriate to ensure the widest expertise is employed to produce an optimum design.

In summary, the current plan should be rejected on all the above grounds and the planning process returned to the so far ignored and mandatory stage of LOCAL stakeholder consultation about requirements.
There has been no consultation with LOCAL stakeholder groups using the current Pool and Track. This is a mandatory requirement. The diving club was assured it would be invited to contribute at the earliest stages in various emails over the last 2 years - including 1 from the LBWF planning department. This never happened. The design now being considered was presented as a fait accompli to stakeholder users. The sub aqua stakeholders and the swimming club have also not been consulted. The views of public session divers – especially young people - has certainly not been canvassed. The proposed plans for the swimming pool have been produced solely on the advice of outside interests from GLL’s Newham Aqua Centre, the national Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and their subsidiary British Diving (BD) plus the regional body London Swimming. These are not LOCAL core stakeholder users. GLL are heavily biased towards swimming on revenue grounds alone. The primary remit of the sports body advisers is competitive with their focus on a pyramid development pathway to find elite sportsmen and women. Public leisure users are not their concern. The narrow range of advice taken by Leisure Services and the exclusion of LOCAL stakeholders and public leisure users invalidates the so called consultation that has produced the new Pool and Track design. The Great Britain Diving Federation which is independent of swimming opposes the proposed plan but was never invited to contribute to the consultation. They value informal leisure diving as well as elite level competition. Had GBDF been included in the discussions there would have been advice contrary to the ASA / BD view to consider. The proposed 25m swimming pool with 1m and 3m diving boards at one end in a single body of water is not fit for purpose. It builds in session time and space conflict between swimmers and divers for the projected life of the building. This model was abandoned by councils all over the country in recent decades on health and safety grounds. Placing the boards at the end of the main pool leaves diving at risk of being marginalised and eventually lost for good. GLL’s strongest argument during the process to date has been based on swimming revenue streams so their commitment to diving is questionable. GLL’s assertions have never been challenged properly nor have figures ever been made available to outside scrutiny. A critical planning decision is being made on un-evidenced revenue grounds with alternative views silenced by exclusion from the preliminary discussions. The severe down grading of the diving facility from that currently enjoyed by Pool and Track users is based on false or out of date assumptions which have not been adequately challenged. Diving is clearly very popular – often there are more public users on the diving boards than in the main pool during public sessions. Pool and Track is based in Waltham Forest. The replacement facility is for current and future generations of Waltham Forest residents over the next 50 years. What exists over the border in the London Borough of Newham is of no relevance. The Head of Leisure Services and her team have placed undue emphasis on facilities in a different borough. The existing well used diving facility at Pool and Track is being severely downgraded in this rebuild plan on the basis of alleged ‘proximity’ to the Newham Aqua centre. The assertions made by GLL, the ASA and British Diving about ease of access and low journey times have not been born out in reality by diving club parents in the first few weeks of travelling over there. There are Green issues too with the council encouraging longer journeys to access a 5m facility Waltham Forest residents have had use of locally since 1966. The current Pool and Track site is very wasteful of available space. There is a huge footprint of land available for this project given the current building and the land around it. A definitive water sports layout – baby pool, main pool and diving pit -should be the core around which all other additions such as spa area, cafe and dry sports gyms are located. We have been told that only one LBWF in house architectural design was commissioned. The specification from the council did not include retaining separate diving and 5m platform hence understandably none was built into the design plan. The project is estimated to be costing £23m. Commissioning at least one alternative external architectural opinion would be appropriate to ensure the widest expertise is employed to produce an optimum design. In summary, the current plan should be rejected on all the above grounds and the planning process returned to the so far ignored and mandatory stage of LOCAL stakeholder consultation about requirements. ICapesy
  • Score: 4

9:30pm Fri 30 May 14

GMerrick says...

It's incredible to learn of such a huge redevelopment project forging ahead without proper consultation with the local users whose support is vital for the success of this major investment for the future. What is wrong with the local Council? Losing the 5m board will be such a short-sighted retorgrade step. Start listening WFDC and re-think your plans!
It's incredible to learn of such a huge redevelopment project forging ahead without proper consultation with the local users whose support is vital for the success of this major investment for the future. What is wrong with the local Council? Losing the 5m board will be such a short-sighted retorgrade step. Start listening WFDC and re-think your plans! GMerrick
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree