Couple bids to teach more Calderdale children to swim at private swimming pool

A couple have applied for planning permission to allow the private swimming pool at their home to be used to teach more children to swim.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 2:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 2:27 pm

Mr and Mrs M. and L. Papworth have applied to Calderdale Council for change of use of the pool, at their Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd, home from private to allow provision of children’s swimming lessons.

This will enable more children, with priority given to those in the local community, to learn to swim.

Mr John Thornton, of Thornton Architects Ltd, agent for the couple, says in supporting documents with the application, number 22/00396/FUL, that a local baby and toddlers swimming group in Mytholmroyd asked Mr and Mrs Papworth if they could use their swimming pool.

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Swimming lesson

Being community minded and aware of the lack of facilities locally they agreed, albeit at limited times, allowing Ben’s Swimming School, which also uses two other private pools at Cragg Vale and Elland, to use their pool on Tuesday evening during school term time between 4pm and 7pm.

Because the building is the Papworth’s private family residence, they have only considered allowing the children’s swimming lessons on three weekdays between Monday and Friday and not at weekends or in the school holidays, says Mr Thornton.

This use would be limited to term-times 10am to 3pm for the baby and toddler group and 4pm to 7pm for junior lessons.

Two part-time employees are proposed, says the application form.

The marginally longer weekday times applied for reflect the need to provide flexibility to the local groups and avoid the need for any further change of use applications.

As the subject pool is limited in size – its is five metres by ten metres – the number of children permissible in the pool at any one time is six to eight children.

Siblings would be accommodated in the same lessons to reduce parent journeys.

Walking to the lessons is encouraged where possible and in practice the use so far has resulted in around 30 per cent of return journeys being on foot, says the supporting statement.

There is ample parking for the very limited shared use of the pool proposed if needed and there is scope to enhance turning space by providing a turning head at the side of the driveway, allowing vehicles to re-enter Burnley Road facing forward, says Mr Thornton.

The siting of the pool within the property is very private, having no windows on the flanking sides to the building.

Double-doored access provides a high degree of sound insulation and existing external garden boundary shrubs and trees will be retained providing a high degree of screening and maintaining privacy to neighbours, the council is told.

Mr Thornton says the proposal is compatible with national planning guidelines (NPPF) as it will allow more efficient use of on existing resources in a locally sustainable way, helping children to learn to swim, promoting walking, reducing carbon e missions and thereby improving the quality of life for residents.