A MUCH-loved swimming pool will close its doors in just two weeks’ time.

Campaigners, who have battled to save Pitsea swimming pool, said the new was “sad but no surprise”.

The Echo previously told how Basildon Council said the pool in Northlands Pavement would close no later than Sunday December 2, but it could close even earlier if they could get plans in place to relocate classes.

Now the authority has revealed the pool will now shut for the final time on Sunday November 4.

It comes as the council revealed it will run a shuttle bus from The Place to the Sporting Village on Cranes Farm Road.

The shuttle service will run five days a week with a special service on Wednesdays for the over 50s.

The bus service will come into force on Monday November 5 with an official timetable announced next week and will be run by
the Basildon District Volunteer Careers (BDVC) until at least march 2013.

The move comes following complaints from campaigners that users of Pitsea pool would struggle to get to the Sporting Village, as no bus service currently runs between the two destinations.

The council announced swimming lessons previously run at Pitsea will now take place at Wickford pool in Market Avenue and the Sporting Village from January.

Plans are also being put in place to eventually offer classes at the pool of the Lower Academy in Timberlog Close, which will offer a closer alternative for Pitsea residents.

Malcolm Buckley, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It has not been an easy decision to close the pool, but I am convinced that it is the right thing to do.

“We cannot ignore this major private investment as we do not own the land in the town centre and therefore have to engage with the private sector.

“This regeneration will create a totally new town centre, create hundreds of jobs, and just as importantly, safeguard hundreds more.”

Under plans to revamp Pitsea town centre the pool in Northlands Pavement, part of the market, Aldi and a row of shops will be bulldozed to make way for a 75,000sq ft Morrison’s supermarket.

Kevin Blake, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the arts, will be hosting a question and answer sessions at The Place (formerly Pitsea Leisure Centre) in Northlands Pavement from 10am to midday this Saturday and between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday October 30.