22nd Jun, 2018

Wychavon District Council has approved plans to bring back the brine baths

Harry Leach 31st May, 2018 Updated: 12th Jun, 2018

WYCHAVON District Council has this week approved plans to build a dual-purpose brine bath, jacuzzi and cafe in Droitwich Spa’s Lido Park.

But those behind the project say the fund-raising has now got to start to make the dream a reality.

For more than 170 years the brine baths gave relief to people suffering from a range of conditions bringing thousands of visitors and prosperity to the town.

The decision will come as great news to ‘Save Our Brine Baths’ – a group of campaigners who have spent years trying to put the ‘Spa’ back in Droitwich Spa.

Save Our Brine Baths (SOBBs) became a registered Community Interest Company and was able to submit a planning application to Wychavon District Council.

Then in March this year, SOBBs received a major cash boost of £5,000 from Worcestershire County Council to aid their project.

At the time, SOBBs’ chairman Bill Moy said it was clear there was a ‘widespread acceptance’ that a brine baths facility would contribute to the wellbeing of residents.

It was also accepted it would help the local economy by bringing more visitors to the town.

After the decision Coun Moy, said: “The day we have worked for and dreamed of for 10 years has finally come!

“After all this time and the setbacks we’ve endured along the way, having our brine baths application approved sure tastes sweet.

“The hard work really starts now. We have three years to raise the funds and get full planning permission.”

Coun Bob Brookes from Wychavon District Council, said: “I am very pleased that the way is now clear for SOBBs to start work towards a detailed design proposal and to raise funds to make their vision a reality.

“With a considerable number of residents writing to Wychavon in support of the planning application it is clear the public are behind this plan.

“It ties in nicely because we recently announced we are working to produce a visitor action plan setting out how we can increase our visitor numbers and overnight stays.

“This will help immensely.”

Coun Moy added: “We look forward to support continuing as we start to go into real details as far as the plans are concerned.

“It’s never too late to come on board and support the cause. With that in mind, all are welcome to our next meeting on June 12 at 7.30pm at Parks Cafe.”

n The Standard reported back in November that a £200,000 fund from BMI Healthcare, which the council secured when the company closed the brine baths for breaking its lease, would be available to be used to fund a new Brine Baths.

Phil Merrick, Wychavon District Council’s head of economy and communities, said: “Wychavon District Council recognises the aspirations to attract a brine facility for Droitwich Spa and is willing to work with parties with a commercially led proposal which is proven to be viable and deliverable.

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