ONE of Sutton’s historic public buildings is set to be demolished to make way for affordable housing.
Members of Ashfield District Council’s cabinet met on Thursday and made a decision to pull down Sutton Pools Complex and Brook Street Hall so that can build 18 new council homes can be built.
Officials say that the building, which has been empty since the Lammas Leisure Centre opened four years ago, attracts anti-social behaviour and costs around £45,000 each year.
But campaigners had wanted to restore the building and create a heritage centre to boost tourism and employment.
Speaking at the meeting, deputy council leader John Wilmott said: “The people of Ashfield are crying out for affordable housing, especially the over-55s.We now have the opportunity to build these houses - do not let us miss this opportunity.”
The façade of the baths building dates back to 1924 and councillors agreed that it should be saved and used in the stonework of a future development.
Council leader John Knight said: “We are not saying no to a heritage project, indeed I think it would be an excellent thing to have.
“The question is whether this is the most suitable site.”
Councillors also said that the site will free up space for much-needed council housing.
Coun Warren Nuttall said: “We as a council are moving forward. There is a place for heritage but there is also a place for where people want to live.
“For the first time in 30 years we have money to build council properties. There is a shortage of bungalows in Sutton.”
He added that that preserving the façade would commemorate the history of the building - but that the council ‘had to move on’.
The council has also agreed to work with groups to find another location for a local history scheme.
Speaking after Thursday’s meeting, Coun Steve Carroll, who is portfolio holder for regeneration, culture and housing, said: “I think it is really exciting because there is a huge demand for housing, particularly for older people. I am contacted on a weekly basis by people who are desperate for a house.”
He added that he wanted to see the building work carried out by traders and apprentices from Ashfield.