No Windows, No Transparency

By Jane Cruickshank / May 17, 2024
side view of corner where there should be lots of windows

ABERDEENSHIRE Council has quietly dropped one of the improvements promised for Stonehaven Leisure Centre.

Windows, designed to improve the lighting of the pool hall, were originally planned for the front and side of the building – and were part of the scope of works Stonehaven residents voted for in the participatory budgeting process back in 2022.

Some seven projects were proposed for the £1.8 million pounds allocated to improve sports and leisure infrastructure in the town. After a public vote attracting 1753 participants, the winning scheme was a package of improvements at the leisure centre: extension to fitness/dance studio and gym; PAMIS changing room; and windows to enhance lighting in the pool area. A new changing village was also indicated but was not part of the £1.4 million participatory budget spend.

With works progressing, it is apparent the swimming pool windows were not being constructed. And it appears they were dropped some six months ago, when drawings were submitted for a ‘non-material variation’ to the planning approval showing cladding where there should have been glass.

No windows – but some new LED lights

A Live Life Aberdeenshire spokesperson said: “The development of Stonehaven Leisure Centre continues to progress well and will deliver a range of improvements to the facility.

“While initially we had planned to include a poolside window, further exploration highlighted a number of practical and structural challenges that would have made this difficult to facilitate.

“We apologise for any disappointment. However, the pool hall has been improved by the installation of LED lighting, along with new poolside tiles and decoration.”

Councillors kept in the dark

It would appear council officers did not consult or advise our councillors of the change to the proposals for the leisure centre, as non-material variations do not require a referral to any committee. Cllr Alan Turner said he had queried the situation and had received the same response as above.

He added: ”I will further query the progress of the work and ask for their current estimated completion date.”