THE people of Minehead should expect a “long journey” on the road to once again having a community swimming pool on their doorstep.

Cllr Neil Parbrook, West Somerset Council’s lead member for community, issued the warning after the authority’s cabinet approved the commissioning of a feasibility study last Wednesday (August 5).

The council will now appoint a consultant to complete the study into a new pool on grounds at the West Somerset Community College.

The study will outline the design, costs and need for a new pool.

Cllr Parbrook said: “We pledged to look at the feasibility of a new pool in Minehead so naturally I am delighted that cabinet has agreed to commission the study.

“It will provide a detailed assessment of the physical and financial feasibility of delivering a new community pool and associated parking requirements.

“The study will also have to evidence a need for a pool, and that it could be operated and sustained financially in some way in the longer term.

“Should a new pool prove possible and financially viable, this is only the first step in what is likely to be a long journey.”

The new pool would replace the ill-fated Aquasplash, demolished at the end of last year.

The pool was closed in 2007 after a major leak was discovered. The council later said it was not financially viable to keep it open.

And in 2008 hopes for a new pool were raised when council chiefs unveiled plans for a new multi-million pound replacement facility on the college’s grounds as part of the New Horizons project.

But the council had to pull the plug on the plan because of financial problems.