A petition to save a Victorian landmark in Hackney has received over 1,000 signatures in 10 days.
Haggerston Baths, a Grade-II listed pool complex in Whiston Road, has been at the centre of a long campaign, as residents battle to re-open the facility which has been boarded up for the past 14 years.
The Community Right to Bid, which was introduced in 2012, means that Hackney residents can now delay the sale of the site by collecting 21 signatures to support the petition.
Haggerston Pool Trust, who launched the petition, propose turning the building into an “asset of community value”, a property of importance to the local community which can be subject to additional protection from development.
Liz Hughes, a member of the Save Haggerston Campaign, said: “We just wanted to get the 21 people that we needed to have access to the right to bid, but what happened was something great. A lot of people who didn’t know about the baths found out as we had stall at Borough Market in January. We had more than 500 people signing up.”
Hughes continued: “This is kind of a new campaign. At the beginning it was aimed to the council, but now it is clear that at the moment the council cannot re-open the pool due to the economic crash. So it became a campaign aimed to the community, to see how it could be more directly involved, and we were very pleasantly surprised.”
The campaigners are looking to raise funds and find an arrangement with the council to re-open the swimming pool, which could be transformed into a leisure centre offering “a unique range of sports and health facilities to serve the Hackney population”.