Harlow Council and HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd have started works to improve the town’s five paddling pools in preparation for this year’s summer season.

Following the news last week that paddling pools are planned to open for this year’s summer holidays works are under way to make some minor health and safety improvements to the pools. These works will include renewal of some surfaces, installation of new fences between play equipment and pools where these are in close proximity and improvements to pump rooms and pool filling equipment which will mean the pools can be quickly re-filled when needed.

The Town Park paddling pool will also benefit from new non-slip surfacing at the pool entrance and hand rails will also be installed at all paddling pools. The pools have been fenced off while the works take place.

The trial project to install a splash park facility alongside the paddling pool at Staple Tye is in the design stages. This pool will open as normal for the 2021 season with the new splash park facilities planned for 2022.

The improvements follow the report published by the council’s scrutiny committee last year. Following a petition set up by resident calling for the Town Park paddling pool to be retained, councillors carried out a comprehensive review of the pools, which included consultation with the public on future improvements. The committee recommended that all of the paddling pools were improved, but kept as paddling pools rather than changed to splash parks.

The reopening of the five paddling pools (Bush Fair, Norman Booth, Staple Tye, Sumners, Town park) and the Potter Street splash park will be kept under review as they will be subject to any changes to the government’s roadmap and coronavirus restrictions and guidelines.