Geraardsbergen. The Geraardsbergen Heritage Committee has filed a notice of objection against the softening and removal of the tub of the ‘den Bleek’ swimming pool. ‘The The Heritage Committee has filed a notice of objection against the environmental permit for the reconversion of Den Bleek’, a member of the Heritage Committee informs us. ‘It is remarkable that an official advisory body of the city is filing a notice of objection against the city.’
‘The tub of the swimming pool and the original building (former cafeteria) on the Dender must continue to exist and must be incorporated into the new destination of the site’, the objection reads. “We must not forget that in the course of its history the pool was previously unusable until it reopened in the summer of 1976.” According to the Heritage Committee, there was also no money to carry out the necessary renovation works. ‘The children’s swimming pool and the “new” buildings on the Guilleminlaan side may disappear if necessary, as they have no heritage value.’
‘Heritage value is not up for discussion’
‘The heritage value of the tub is not up for discussion. This is the oldest outdoor swimming pool in our country. Over the past 10 years, the city of Geraardsbergen has invested heavily in preserving architectural heritage. Are we going to nullify this now? Heritage value is not only related to a date, but also to what is on the minds of the inhabitants. The cockpit is an essential part of social history and must therefore be preserved. We need to reintroduce it into today’s life. The existing protected brick entrance building is still original and can be restored to its original state’, concludes the Heritage Committee.
‘Provided that the necessary adjustments are made, the interior can be converted into a catering business and a tourist information point.’ ‘A privately run catering business must be the driving force behind turning the site into a lively, attractive stopping point for walkers and cyclists, with or without a raised terrace and roof’, concludes the Heritage Committee.