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Demolition risk for Nottingham’s historic sports hall

Three possible designs for the redevelopment of Nottingham's Victoria Baths were put on show for the public earlier this month. None of the options make provision for a sports hall at the site and the Victorian Society is concerned that the future of the striking hall is far from secure.

The Victorian Society believes that the best approach is to refurbish the existing 1896 pools and the Turkish baths. But under this option the future of the sports hall is unclear.

'All designs for the Victoria Baths should include keeping the impressive vaulted roof of the current sports hall,' said Alex Baldwin, Conservation Adviser of the Victorian Society.

'The special interest of these baths lies in the collection of structures that make up the building and reflect its history. We are delighted that all the options include keeping the historic clock tower but the wrought iron ribs of the sports hall roof are important too, as is the main pool building.'

One other option put forward by the architects includes building a new pool in the existing sports hall and on the site of the original 1850 Victorian Oval Pool. This would keep the vaulted sports hall roof but the Victorian Society believes the scheme is not acceptable as it involves the demolition of the 1896 pools and the popular Turkish bath.

In the third option only the historic clock tower remains amid an entirely new development and has scant regard for the historic nature of the site.

'We fully support the first option, as long as assurances can be given that the sports hall will not face demolition.'

The Save Victoria Baths campaign is also backing the first option, if the sports hall remains.




Monday 19 January, 2009

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