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Council belly-flop

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Miserable news from the North West. Hodder Associates’ award-winning Berners Pool in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, will finally be demolished this year

A sword of Damocles has been hanging over the abandoned, 10-year-old swimming pool since 2006, after the community trust running it went bust. Described as a Miesian ‘box-on-a-plinth’ (AJ 22.04.04), Hodder’s pool won a raft of plaudits, as well as an RIBA Award in 2004 and a Civic Trust commendation in the same year.

But a tender notice was posted by South Lakeland District Council earlier this month for a demolition team to flatten the building and cover its footprint in ‘topsoil and grass’.

As the building’s designer and incoming RIBA president Stephen Hodder says: ‘This is a great tragedy and a sad reflection on the lack of local authority support. It trivialises all the efforts made by the people of Grange to realise the project.’ A cautionary tale for those hoping to make a success of the ‘new’ localism.

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