The plans include both affordable rent, in purple, and shared ownership homes. Credit: planning documents

Castleford pool demolition cued up

Equans and Wakefield & District Housing want to pull down the former swimming pool, and replace it with 69 affordable homes, plans that have drawn a number of objections.

The Aketon Road site measures 4.8 acres, and includes the pool building – which closed in 2017 – and its car park and a section of public land.

Wakefield Council owns the site and an agreement is in place for its sale subject to planning consent.

Approval is recommended at planning committee on 14 September. The application’s reference number is 22/02475/FUL.

The project would include 24 two-bedroom, 37 three-bedroom and eight four-bedroom homes, with open space at the centre of the development.

Fifty two of the homes would be available through affordable renting, and 17 made available through shared ownership. The site is unallocated, and is described as sustainable, already having a bus stop.

The developers are working with planning consultant Peacock + Smith, with DSM Architecture also advising.

The professional team also includes Fortem Civil Engineering Consultants, Stroma Group, Lithos Consulting, ECUS, Exigo Project Solutions and Environmental Noise Solutions.

Just four of the 65 communications received on the application are positive, talking of the “desperate” need for new homes in Castleford and describing the baths as an “eyesore”, up against 59 objections.

Mostly, these mention the loss of public space and amenity, asking if the facility could be upgraded, with some suggesting that the neighbouring Savile Park could be expanded.

Statutory consultee Sport England has pronounced itself satisfied though: although initially an objector due to the loss of playing field space and not having seen evidence the pool and field are surplus to requirements; it has since been satisfied that the Aspire facility at Pontefract is meeting swimming needs.

In addition, a contribution of £105,000 has been agreed in lieu of the field loss, which will be directed to the upkeep of rugby league pitches throughout the borough.

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