Stop the demolition of Kingston's Kingfisher Leisure Centre

Stop the demolition of Kingston's Kingfisher Leisure Centre

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Caroline Shah started this petition to The Council of The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames

We urge Kingston Council not to demolish The Kingfisher Leisure Centre without a guaranteed and legally-binding commitment to replace the existing facilities at The Kingfisher within a specified timeframe with facilities that meet national policy guidelines of equal or better provision in quantity and quality in a suitable location, and with full, transparent and proper consultation with Kingston residents.

We demand a fully-costed analysis of the repairs needed to make The Kingfisher economically viable and a cost breakdown for a new leisure centre meeting policy requirements - including details of how such a centre would be funded - before any decision is made by the council to demolish The Kingfisher.

We insist that residents have a say over whether The Kingfisher is repaired or demolished when the above information has been made available.


On Wednesday 1 September 2021, only two days after the summer holidays officially ended and most people were still in holiday mode, The Planning Committee of Kingston Council met hurriedly and voted to give planning permission to demolish The Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Kingston, without any guarantee or approved planning application for its replacement.

The decision appears to breach national policy that insists that any loss of community facilities must be "replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality", and local policy that resists "net loss" of community facilities unless they are "surplus to requirements".

The demolition has also been strongly opposed by Sport England.

Kingston Council rejected Sport England's opposition and argue that they had no obligation to consider the body's opinion on the matter.

This is despite the fact that Sport England invested £336,000 as a Lottery grant for improvements to the changing facilities in The Kingfisher as recently as 2015 and is likely now to require that money to be repaid with whatever additional penalties that may be incurred. This was not disclosed publicly by Kingston Council.

The demolition of a swimming pool that needed a new roof at a council-estimated cost of £4 million when there is no agreed funding plan for a replacement estimated by the council to cost £40 million is a travesty.

The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames will be left with only one 25 metre pool serving the whole Borough. Thousands of school children will have nowhere to swim and Kingston Royals Swimming Club and Kingfisher Tri triathlon club will permanently lose one of their main pools, being forced out of the Borough for swimming.

It appears that Swim England wasn't consulted on the proposed demolition.

Swim England only yesterday published a report emphasising the danger to our children from not being able to swim.

On Channel 5 News on 2 September 2021, Jane Nikerson, Chief Executive of Swim England said that swimming is a "vital, vital life skill".

Key Stage 2 requires every child to be able to swim 25 metres, which Jane Nikerson says is not enough and that children should keep learning to swim after they have achieved this goal. Only 4% of children aged 7 to 11 can swim 100 metres without stopping, can tread water for 30 seconds, can experience swimming in clothes and are able to perform a start float for at least 30 seconds.

Gold medallist, James Guy, says of swimming: "It's a basic life skill you need to have...". 

We insist that the Council does not demolish The Kingfisher Leisure Centre.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!