Hot pools’ fence may ruin ocean view

TIMBER TURMOIL: The ocean view at the hot salt water pools being built in New Brighton will be obscured by timber slats.

People using the hot water pools in New Brighton will have to peer through timber slats to see the ocean.

The $11.2 million pool complex is currently under construction and is expected to be open early next year.

Development Christchurch Ltd chief executive Rob Hall said timber slats from 80cm to 1.3m tall would be installed on the beach side of the pools to protect users from easterly winds.

Mr Hall said people would still be able to see the ocean through the 5cm gaps between the timber slats.

“A solid glass fence was considered, however, we know that sea spray quickly turns glass opaque and unsightly, and a solid glass fence would also cause unpleasant downdrafts for pool users,” he said.

New Brighton Project co-ordinator Martha Baxendell was concerned the slats would obscure the view.

“I think the biggest thing was that we wanted to know that we were still in New Brighton, I just hope it is not this big old fence that we can hardly see through,“ she said.

New Brighton resident Robbie Baigent, who got a lot of feedback after posting the hot pools plan on The People’s Independent Republic of New Brighton Facebook page, felt the community had been sold one thing and given another.

“All the early imagery showed a fence but with a series of glass panels which I would have had no problem with,” he said.

“It’s just a real shame, we have got one of the most amazing vistas across the city.”

New Brighton Business and Landowners Association chairwoman Rebecca Taveteis confident the hot pools will still be a success.

“I don’t think many people will be going to the pool to look at the ocean anyway. If you look at Hanmer and the hot pools there you are either sitting around gazing into your partner’s eyes or you are sitting around with some friends chatting away,” she said.

Coastal Ward city councillor David East labelled the slats a “win-win” situation.

“From the point of view of breaking wind, it makes sense. I also think it is possible to have a more than adequate view with the slats,” he said.