The grounds of the former Ypres outdoor swimming pool will be extended during the renovation

The City Council wants to include the zone between the swimming pool and Lange Torhoutstraat in the redevelopment of the former outdoor swimming pool. Councilor Philip Bolle (Vooruit) replied to the city council after both Jordy Sabels (Green) and Nancy Six (Ieper2030) asked what the further plans are now that the conservation status has been lifted.

Matthias Diependaele, Flemish Minister of Real Estate, signed on 26 April the final decree repealing the monumental protection of the outdoor swimming pool. The abolition was necessary because the city and the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM) are planning improvements to the design of the eastern city canals by 2027 to guarantee safety and drainage. The swimming pool’s square forms a strategic hub for realizing a connection between Kasteelgracht and Wieltjesgracht.

Both Nancy Six (Ieper2030) and Jordy Sabels (Green) seized on the possibility of revoking the conservation status to find out what the further plans are for the site and what is left of the study from the former legislator for the water park that would stay on the page. came.

Water drainage to Wieltjesgracht broken

Councilor Philip Bolle (Vooruit) stressed in his reply that work on the eastern drainage of water in the face of global warming is absolutely necessary to prevent future floods. “The eastern discharge runs via the Kasteelgracht and along the former open-air bath, but the connection to the Wieltjesgracht has almost been broken, so no significant discharges can be discharged,” Bolle explained. “With a large supply of water via the Dikkebus basin – which flows into Boterplas near the station – we can run into problems at high water levels in Verdronken Weiden, because then water can not be led from the settlements into Verdronken. Enge. “

The ships confirmed that a new design study is being made. “VMM will bear half of the design costs. In addition, they are already committed to partial participation in the costs of co-financing the perception and experience section. A much better deal than before. The drastic waterworks will be fully funded by VMM,” says Bolle. ” We do not want to limit our design to the contours of the swimming pool, but we do want to include the zone between Lange Torhoutstraat and the swimming pool in the design. I think very specifically about, for example, the walls on the side of Basculestraat and Kiplinglaan. ”

Water experience

The design agency does not get a blank page. There are already some guidelines from the city. “The design must take into account RUP Vestingen, which refers to the swimming pool as part of a park landscape. The deeper bass form on the site may well determine the picture here, “said Councilor Bolle.” The water history, which is inextricably linked to the new interpretation, must be more than just a restored water axis between Kasteelgracht and Wieltjesgracht. Here we resolutely go for a recreational interpretation with water experience in the main tone. The new design must also have a functional interpretation, preferably in layers. This will, among other things, make a significant difference with the removed design. The restoration of the formidable visual axis on the Meninport is of course historical context, which we will not ignore. ”

Two objections to declassification

The councilors promised that the board will have a broad eye for participation from local residents and by extension all residents of Ypres. “I would also like to emphasize that during the public inquiry, only two objections were received: one from a resident of Hemiksem and one from a professional association (GORDUNA) of conservation architects from Antwerp. So let it be clear that Ypres supports our request for declassification 100%. And for those who are still wondering why the previous design was scrapped, I can tell you this: It may have been ‘just good’, but it was simply not ‘good enough’ for Ypres’, Philip Bolle concluded. (TOGH)

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