Published: 16:21, 04 August 2020
| Updated: 16:55, 04 August 2020
Hopes that Walmer Paddling Pool could reopen this summer have been dashed.
Operators Your Leisure have announced the lido on The Strand near Deal won't be opening this season.
Strict hygiene procedures, that "would be impractical for a small facility" have forced the decision, a statement on the pool's facebook page said.
Plus, the stringent measures would "take away any enjoyment of using the pool," the post said.
The site is owned by Dover District Council and managed by Your Leisure - which also manages Tides and had run the former Dover Leisure Centre.
The statement said: "Dover District Council and Your Leisure have been working hard to find a way to safely open Walmer Paddling Pool in-line with the guidance from the government and Swim England. "Unfortunately, this has not been possible, and we’ve taken the difficult decision not to open this season."
The required safe space for each bather, at 6m² per person which would mean just 27 people could bathe.
The arrangement would affect viability, plus the restrictions would apply to the surrounding green space.
On top of these challenges, required maintenance works could not be undertaken in lockdown, the statement said.
Comments on the post largely appreciate the conclusion and one commentator said: "Nice to see a sensible decision."
Kevin Fordham, managing director of Your Leisure said: “This is not a decision Dover District Council and Your Leisure have taken lightly.
"Walmer Paddling Pool is a popular community venue and we’re so disappointed that Your Leisure is not able to reopen the pool this summer. Despite working tirelessly to come up with a viable solution to get Walmer Paddling Pool operational for the summer, the challenges were just too great.”
Tides Leisure Centre in Park Avenue, Deal, re-opened on Monday, August 3, with a restricted service for members only. Non members are being told they can't use the facility yet.
Throughout lockdown the paddling pool site has been utilised by pop-up entrepreneur Mr Prosecco, whose mobile bar has been serving alcoholic refreshments to passers by and users of adjacent Walmer Green.
Owner Craig Anthony Selby told Kentonline this weekend will be his last and that £1 from every drink will be donated to Deal Hospital.
Meanwhile Faversham Swimming Pool, another venue with a popular outdoor pool, won't be reopening until September 7.