Decision date set for historic Sutton baths

CAMPAIGNERS have reacted with anger after it was revealed Ashfield district councillors could vote to demolish Sutton baths at a cabinet meeting tomorrow night.

Sutton Pools Complex and Brook Street Hall have been empty since the town’s Lammas Leisure Centre opened three years ago.

The pools complex has been plagued by crime and anti-social behaviour since it was closed and officials at the council say it should be demolished to make way for future development.

They estimate that if the baths building was to be restored it would cost around £2m and could take two years to complete. Officials also fear that the vandalised building has created a negative image of the area and could lead to more vandalism.

Council bosses say that the façade, which dates back to 1924, should be taken down and either incorporated into a new development at the site or stored until a suitable location can be found.

But residents and local history experts have raised concerns about the future of the landmark building, which once hosted artists such as Status Quo, Ben E King and Eric Clapton.

They are now urging people to sign a petition which is available on a Facebook page or on the council’s website.

Sutton resident Kevin Acton (58) has lived in the Ashfield area all his life and said he would not want to see the façade taken down because it is unclear what would happen to it.

He says: “It would be out of the public eye. They have not stated where it will go.”

And he added that he would like to see a public consultation on the site’s future.

“It should go to public consultation. It was given to us by the miners so it should be a public decision.”

Meanwhile, the Fresh Fields Project wants to create a community and heritage centre at Brook Street Hall.

Some of the group’s aims include a museum, providing training opportunities for young people and offering rooms for the community to use.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the cabinet is expected to give the group an extra year to generate the necessary funding and status. This would be reviewed after six months.

For details search for ‘Save Sutton Baths from Demolition!’ on Facebook or http://petitions.ashfield-dc.gov.uk/SaveSutton-Baths.