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Hayes Pool building to be demolished
THE old Hayes swimming pool is to be demolished, in response to people's fears over security and the safety of the abandoned block.
The building will be brought down 'in the near future', says Hillingdon Council, which has been trying to sell it for about 18 months.
The pool and fitness centre, in Central Avenue, was the south of the borough's main leisure facility before the opening of the new Botwell Green Sports and Leisure Centre, in East Avenue, in June 2010.
Since then the boarded up building has been extensively vandalised.
Ward councillors, along with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell lobbied for the site to be made 'entry-proof'.
It was boarded up and a high wooden fence was put up, but it has still been broken into frequently.
Councillor Janet Gardner (Lab, Botwell) said: "The site is not secure, and as a consequence it presents a huge safety issue.
"People have been gaining entry to the site via broken windows and doors, using it as somewhere to take drugs, sleep and no doubt an assortment of other illegal activities.
"We as local councillors for Botwell will be glad when the old pool site is cleared.
"The quicker it is demolished the better as far as we are concerned."
In November 2010 the council put the site on the market, complete with planning permission for up to 72 flats.
No firm bidders came forward, and there has only been speculative interest since.
People living nearby were worried about the density of the development and the impact on traffic, and Mr McDonnell suggested it should be turned into a community facility.
The council, however, has been determined to attract a buyer.
Last month, negotiations to use the site as a location for the upcoming James Bond film, Skyfall, fell through, paving the way for its demolition.
David Brough, chairman of the Hayes Town Partnership, also welcomed the news, calling the site in its current state a 'potential death- trap'.
He added: "Now we need to know what the council's latest thoughts on the future development of the site are.
"It will be great to have it cleared, but we do not want it left as a blot on the landscape for years."
A timetable for the work has not yet been set although Boe Williams-Obasi, Hillingdon's head of corporate property, confirmed it would start 'soon'.
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