PLANS to transform the town’s former swimming pool into housing have finally been backed after years of delays.
The Accord Group, which runs Redditch Co-operative Homes, was given the green light to build 30 homes on the former Hewell Swimming Pool site at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday (January 14) three years after it closed.
The organisation had intended to submit plans in June last year but they failed to materialise and only in November was a revised plan submitted to include five two bedroom homes, a two bedroom bungalow, and 24 one bedroom flats.
Redditch Borough Council has had to fork out £20,139 since the pool’s closure for security and other costs on the site with about £9,000 of that since councillors agreed to sell the site for a nominal fee of £1 to Redditch Co-operative Homes in July last year.
All of the housing will be affordable and part of the plans include improvement work to the Batchley Brook which runs alongside the site.
Coun Joe Baker told the meeting every time he drove past the site it reminded him of the Eurythmics song Thorn In My Side.
“I think it is an area that is long overdue to be redeveloped. It will put what is desperately needed in that area. I’m glad to see this finally getting to a conclusion.” he said.
Coun Yvonne Smith said she was delighted to see more social hosing coming into Redditch, while Chairman Andy Fry added the Batchley Brook was an important waterway and he looked forward to it being improved.
The swimming pool is set to be demolished shortly bringing to a close an association with swimming on the site which stretches back 100 years or more.
Local historians believing swimming has taken place on the site since at least the turn of the 20th Century and in 1908 resembled more of a lido, before in 1929 a roof and changing rooms were added. Further modernisation took place in the 1970s and 1980s.