A group which runs community activities for hundreds of people at Saltdean Lido is urging caution should a new owner be sought for its historic home.

Thousands of people have joined the campaign to preserve the listed Art Deco Saltdean Lido after its current leaseholder revealed controversial plans for the site.

As leaseholder Dennis Audley met heritage bosses in a last-ditch effort to develop the site, Saltdean Community Association (SCA), which leases half the site to run community activities, said it was looking forward to working with new managers.

However, the group, which is responsible for a large portion of any repair costs to the “at-risk” building, has urged owners Brighton and Hove City Council to consider all the options for running the site if the local authority does take back the lease.

Liz Lee, of SCA, said: “We have a lease that expired in 2004 but we’re holding it over while we negotiate a new deal.

“During that time we have been completely solvent and paid our utilities.

“I think we have been very good at running the business.

“We have always been clear to the council, before the campaign group was formed, that the lido should be run by the community for the benefit of the community.

“We have been the forgotten partners in this, stuck in the middle.

“Any one who wants to take over the running of the site has to negotiate with us.

“We would like to see a more secure footing for any group that takes it over.

“But the council would be foolish to only talk to one group about the site.”

Earlier this month the local authority put a nil valuation of the 125-year lease which was signed in 1997.

Mr Audley said: “This is going to be an ongoing process and no conclusion was reached or is expected to be reached for a while.

“It’s early days but hopefully a solution can be found to secure the future of the Lido.”