Plans to turn a historic swimming pool into key worker housing will be voted on tomorrow (Thursday, September 26) despite objection from campaigners that the wrong committee is making the decision.

Peter Burt, from the Arthur Hill Campaign, has written a letter to Chris Books, assistant director of legal and democratic Services at Reading Borough Council (RBC), calling for the report on the pool to be withdrawn.

He said the recommendation for the council’s Policy committee to approve transforming the site into affordable key worker housing is at odds with a previous decision made by full council in October 2016.

But the council has rejected his request to move the decision from the Policy committee to Full Council.

A spokesman for the council said it would be “a new decision based on new information” and the committee is appropriate as it is responsible for council assets and can take decisions on behalf of other committees.

The locally listed front of the building would be retained under the plans and 15 new flats at a cost of £4.55 million could be available for rent as soon as spring 2022.

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On October 18, 2016, full council agreed to a report recommending that Arthur Hill is surplus to requirements and should be disposed, with the capital receipt from selling the site to be invested in new replacement swimming facilities.

The council chose its preferred bidder in July 2018 but the sale of the pool, to One of a Kind Developments, fell through a year later.

RBC now wants to transfer the property to the Housing Revenue Account and transform it into affordable key worker housing accommodation for doctors, nurses, teachers, police and social workers.

Mr Burt says such a decision is beyond the committee’s authority or “ultra vires” as it contradicts the decision made by Full Council, which he says “outranks” Policy committee.

He said the decision could be challenged through the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or by judicial review and questioned how the planned pool at Palmer Park would be funded.

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But a council spokesman said: “Policy committee is able to consider budgetary matters and all cost implications.

“This would include the loss of any capital receipt from the sale, savings to the general fund or transferring the property to the Housing Revenue Account, as is being proposed.

“On this basis, the council is clear the Arthur Hill report can be considered by Policy committee.”