Is King’s Cross really getting its own swimming pond?

The proposed King's Cross Swimming Pond, but is it for real?

The proposed King’s Cross Swimming Pond, but is it for real?

It sounded unlikely when I first read this in The Evening Standard last night, but apparently the developers of Kings Cross have put in a planning application to Camden Council to create what’s being billed as Europe’s first manmade ‘natural’ pond smack bang in the middle of the regeneration site. 

If approved the pond which would be 200m long could be home to up to 163 swimmers (sounds a very precise number to me) as well as a whole host of wildlife. I guess the idea is to create a space which would rival Hampstead Ponds, just a couple of miles to the north. 

According to the planning documents: “A conventional swimming pool uses chemicals to kill micro-organisms in the water. This isn’t necessary in a natural pool where the cleaning work is carried out by micro-organisms which exist together in equilibrium.”

A birds eye view of what the King's Cross Pond could look like

A birds eye view of what the King’s Cross Pond could look like

If granted planning consent at the Town Hall, it is hoped the pond would be ready for use by this July and then stay in place for 18 months.

But there is something a little fishy about the story to me. The application was submitted by the King’s Cross Central Partnership, which is developing and managing the regeneration site. But the idea has been worked on by Dutch architects Ooze and managing the project is a guy called Ian Freshwater (really?). 

I do hope it’s not a spoof, but I’ve yet to be convinced. 

Much more modest

Meanwhile a new indoor centre – which includes two pools, a fitness gym, café, relocated modern library and customer access centre – is definitely going ahead as part of the 5 Pancras Square development site, where council offices are also relocating. It will open its doors to the public on July 19.

Says Afe Komolafe, from Somers Town Community Centre, said: “The opening of the Pancras Square leisure centre means so much for the Somers Town community as we’ve been asking for a swimming pool for years!

“Finally, it’s right on our doorstep and I am certain it will be well used by members of the community, especially those who currently have to travel all the way to Kentish Town to use the facilities there.”

The new indoor pool in Kings Cross. Just 25m though.

The new indoor pool in Kings Cross. Just 25m though.

However, not everyone is so happy. , in his blog King’s Cross Environment argues forcefully that there should be a 50m pool in King’s Cross. 

Over two hundred thousand square meters of space, “50 new buildings, 2,000 new homes, 20 new streets, 10 new public squares, 67 acres 8 million square feet, 3.4 milion sq ft of workspace, 500,000 sq ft of retail, 26 acres of public space, 45,000 people (quote from website)” that must be be big enough to accommodate 50 metre swimming pool, little in comparison, you would think?

Here at Goggleblog we would have to agree with him, especially as London has so few 50m pools.