Listed status for saltwater lido in south Cumbria

Grange Lido
Image caption Grange Lido has been listed due to being of historical or architectural interest.

The protective listing of a saltwater lido in south Cumbria has been described as "completely bonkers" by a man who wants to redevelop the area.

Jonathan Denby is part of a partnership behind a multimillion-pound scheme at Grange over Sands.

The listing however, could mean developers and the local council may have to review plans for the site.

The 1932 lido has been given Grade II listing by the government.

Developers' ambitions for the area include apartments, a retirement hotel, medical centre and a leisure centre.

Grange Lido has been listed because of historical or architectural interest.

This puts strict limits on what can be done to the pool buildings or anything in the vicinity.

An English Heritage spokeswoman said:" The secretary of state's decision to list Grange Lido is a reflection of its special interest as an unusually intact survival from the 1930s, complete with its pool, stepped diving stage and other ancillary structures.

"The lido reflects the importance of fresh air, fitness and mass leisure to the inter-war generation and the important role that Grange over Sands played in this."

Redevelopment plans

After years of plans for the area, including the failure of the replacement Berners swimming pool, the open-air pool complex became part of a larger regeneration scheme.

Mr Denby from the Berners Vision Partnership said: "The listing is completely bonkers. We have no problem with the buildings, they are due to be retained, but the pool and the terracing is just a mass of decaying concrete.

"I am afraid that if people have the nostalgic idea that somehow this can be restored to its former glory, it can't."

Campaigners hoping to reopen the lido are celebrating at the listing.

Melissa Harrington, from online social network group Save Grange Lido, said: "It is an enormous asset in this area and there are people who have actually moved here having enjoyed summers at Grange pool."

The pool is owned by South Lakeland District Council.

Hilary Stephenson, deputy leader of the council and also in charge of communities and well-being said: "The listing of the lido has to be accommodated within the context of the Berners Vision Partnership development plans.

"The nostalgic desire to have a pool restored to its original state is one that just isn't sustainable.

"We will continue to work with the Berners Vision Partnership to help them understand the criteria within which they now need to operate, in order to keep everybody's needs met."

The English Heritage spokeswoman added: "It is entirely feasible to sensitively redevelop the lido without losing what is important about it, it is all about seeking a balance.

"We will work with the council and relevant parties to help seek a solution for the site."

The pool was designed by Grange over Sands urban district council surveyor Bernard Smith. It closed in 1993.

A lido is a general term for a public outdoor swimming pool, often featuring changing rooms and areas for sunbathing and relaxation.

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