London’s first public “floating lido” is being planned for West India Quay on the Isle of Dogs.
Proposals have been submitted to turn a 60m-long Dutch barge, moored opposite Canary Wharf, into an open-air swimming pool, complete with sauna, plunge pool and office space.
Berlin, Paris, New York and Lake Como all boast barge lidos. But the London pool will different as it will contain no chlorine, with swimmers bathing in “naturally filtered and heated” water. Swimmers will be surrounded by vegetation on the deck and “floating reed beds”, according to the plans.
If approved the London lido, named the Water Cures Spa, will also be used for events such as acoustic gigs, talks and “wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation”.
“The proposal incorporates a wide range of biodiversity measures to bring about an enhancement to the biodiversity of the local area and enrich the public experience of the local area on the quayside and on the vessel,” according to documents submitted to Tower Hamlets council.
“The proposal represents an opportunity to improve community facilities in the area, enhance biodiversity and provide greater access to the water space at West India Quay, while respecting the historic and open character of the area,”
The plans are the brainchild of bodywork therapist Nico Thoemmes – co-founder of Morning Gloryville, which runs breakfast rave dance classes around the world.
Mr Thoemmes said he hopes to sail a barge over from Holland, if the plans are approved, and have the pool ready to open by 2022.
He said: “There are a couple of companies that have developed technology where you can filter large amounts of water and there is no need for chlorine.
“No-one likes chlorine and bathing in mineral rich water is really good for you, it just makes you feel better. Spa culture in the UK is something steeped in luxury a lot of the time. I want to reinvent that.”
The plans are due to be decided on later this year.
Rachael Burford is the Local Democracy Reporter for Tower Hamlets. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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