A NATURIST has been left furious after a Bournemouth leisure centre refused to let him rent out its swimming pool for a naked swim.

David Ross, 59, who lives in Throop, has been trying to organise a naked swim at Stokewood Leisure Centre as part of the Great British Skinny Dip - a national event which encourages people to try costume-free swimming.

This year’s event takes place from Friday, September 2 to Sunday, September 4.

Mr Ross, who is part of the Bournemouth Independent Alliance, has approached the leisure centre in Stokewood Road about renting out the swimming pool on the evening of Saturday, September 3.

According to Mr Ross staff at the leisure centre had said that they did have an option for members of the public to rent out the pool, however once they discovered that it was for a naturist swim he was told that it would not be possible to accommodate him.

“I’m being discriminated against because I’m a naturist and it’s just unacceptable,” said Mr Ross, who works as an accountant.

“If it was people of a certain race or religion this sort of behaviour would never be tolerated.

“I was willing to pay the £70 fee to hire the pool and yet my money was turned away just because the event is for naturists.”

Following the initial rejection Mr Ross then wrote to the board of directors at BH Live, which runs the leisure centre on behalf of Bournemouth Borough Council.

“Unfortunately all I got in return was a number of ridiculous excuses about why I couldn’t have my event at the centre,” added Mr Ross.

“Firstly I was told there would be a problem with nakedness in the changing rooms, then I was told that if people didn’t wear swimming costumes it would mess up the filtration system.

“I was also told that the lifeguards wouldn’t want to work the event.

“And finally I was told that because the leisure centre hosts a disabled swimming session on a Saturday evening that the staff would be too stressed out to then work an event afterwards.

“I have just been given a load of excuses that really have no merit to them.”

Mr Ross said he then received a letter from BH Live’s chief executive telling him the matter had been dealt with and that he would be unable to use the pool for his event.

“I have now made a complaint against the behaviour of BHLive management. I have been discriminated against, and BHLive has broken its own code of practice. But I am also preparing a ‘letter before action’ in order to take legal action against the organisation.”

Mike Lyons, BH Live’s director of leisure facilities, said: “We can confirm we have had an enquiry from Mr Ross about hiring Stokewood’s pool for an event on the evening of Saturday, September 3.

“We were unable to accommodate his request.”