A controversial request to allow a residential swimming pool to be used as a swim school is set to be decided next week. 

West Suffolk Council's planning committee will meet on Wednesday, October 4, to discuss proposals, which have been recommended for approval by officers, to change a residental pool in Bury Road, Newmarket, for use as a swim school. 

During a meeting on September 6, which was deferred for a site visit, councillors heard that due to its residential setting the pool often attracts children with special educational needs and disabilities who find it difficult to be in more crowded pools.

The meeting heard there was "real upset" among neighbours due to "countless cars and obstructions" and councillor Rachel Hood insisted the use of the pool in a business setting affected the amenity of its neighbours.

The planning application has been labelled as 'retrospective', meaning consent for the use of the pool as a business had not been sought beforehand. 

Stephen Redhead, the pool's owner, said in the meeting that he had enquired about the matter with the town council months in advance and had no response.

Mr Redhead told district councillors he believes the service provided by the pool is essential to the town.

He said: “We hear about children drowning every year, so this is a vital life skill.

“Local pools are all cavernous, massive places and these children often find it difficult there." 

A site visit will take place on October 2 and then the proposal, which officers have recommended receive the green light, will be discussed at the West Suffolk Council Development and Control Committee meeting on Wednesday, October 4.