COUNCILLORS unanimously passed plans to knock down Sutton Baths and build an apartment block and bungalows on the site at last week’s planning committee meeting.
The proposals received support from all political parties on Ashfield District Council, with councillors welcoming the opportunity to develop social housing for the over 60s.
The application proposes the erection of a 2.5 storey apartment block, comprising of 22 apartments and three bungalows, a community room, off-street car parking and a garden area, on the derelict Sutton Pools building and Brook Street community building site.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Chris Baron said social housing such as this is ‘very much in need’ across the whole district.
Coun John Wilmott added that he had ‘great pleasure’ in seeing the application come before the meeting.
“We have the opportunity to build council properties in our area for the first time for more than 25 years,” he said.
Coun Wilmott said that he hoped the council would be building many similar schemes over the next decade and he was ‘looking forward to seeing the facade of the old swimming baths as a reminder of the area’s heritage’.
One of the key features of the development is that the facade of the historic Baths building will be incorporated into the new design, maintaining the architecturally important features. The facade will be taken down while the building work takes place, the materials will be stored, and it will then be rebuilt as part of the apartment block.
Being close to Sutton town centre, the development is considered to be in a sustainable location, near to amenities, while the scale of it is reported to have ‘less of an impact’ on its neighbours than the present buildings.
There are a number of sustainability features, including solar panels on the roof modern heating and ventilation systems.
During consultation, Nottinghamshire County Council, as the highways authority, said that the level of off-road parking ‘falls short of the likely demand this site will generate by approximately six spaces’.
However it found that because the site is so near the town centre, the shortage ‘does not warrant a reason for refusal’, because local facilities are within walking distance.
Just 12 unallocated parking spaces will be provided for 25 dwellings, with resident parking permits issued for Brook Street on a discretionary basis.
Coun Jason Zadrozny expressed his concerns about the parking situation, stating that it could create ‘difficulties’ for the people living there if they could not park outside where they lived and then had to walk with shopping, especially if they are older.
But he praised the use of the original facade, saying: “It’s the best job the council could do with it, with the caveat of parking.”