MAJOR building work at Gourock Pool has been approved, despite concerns the iconic facility will “lose its Art Deco” character.
Plans to reconstruct and extend the poolside accommodation to provide new changing facilities and a gymnasium went before councillors on Wednesday.
Two letters of objection was received, critical of the architectural detailing of the design and concerned that the Art Deco character of the pool will be lost. The meeting heard that one objector had described the new entrance pavilions as “stripped down, post modern cubist boxes.”
Inverclyde Council development and building standards manager Nicholas McLaren said: “It could be argued that Cubism is the modern Art Deco. There choices -- we can seek to reflect what is there or seek to move it on, move it on to what it could be for the next 100 years.”
Several of the facility’s features are set to disappear under the proposal. The existing terraced 'sun steps' seating will go because the new changing facilities will extend over this area as will the grassed embankment which is where the proposed gymnasium will be.
Mr McLaren, in a report to Inverclyde Planning Board states: “While I appreciate the concern over the loss of some traditional features, the architects were faced with health and safety constraints and the desire to provide level disabled access throughout the facility.
“Structural surveys put the roof terrace and art deco entrance kiosks out-of-bounds to the public and the retention of these features was considered by the applicant but found to be unviable. The decision to reinterpret the pool in a way that acknowledges the original design but adopts a modernist approach is supported.
“Overall, I consider the proposal to be a welcome investment in a key leisure facility in Gourock town centre.”
The existing steep stairs would be replaced by a centrally located, single stair with a halfway landing. A viewing deck is retained over the proposed accommodation. Access for people with disabilities is provided by a new lift.