Work on a new leisure complex in Merthyr Tydfil will start in 2007, but there is anger that two swimming pools will be closed to make way for it.
The complex will have a swimming pool and a nine-screen cinema
The Edwardsville baths and the Gwaunfarren pool will be shut to make way for the £30m Rhydycar complex.
But there are campaigns by local people to keep the pools open.
Merthyr Council said the scheme, which will include a 25m pool, would help achieve the area's aim of becoming a "vibrant thriving regional centre."
The new development will also include a cinema complex, 60-bed hotel, pub, restaurants and cafes, as well as room for up to 800 cars.
One councillor, Gareth Watkins, was even suspended from the Labour Party for four weeks after voting against his party's plan to close the Edwardsville baths, which he called an "essential amenity".
"I'm not against the Rhydycar complex but I want to keep the Edwardsville pool open as well," he said.
"Only two years ago it had about £56,000 spent on it and it is used by people from across the area.
"I know the council has said it will put sponsored buses on for people to use the Rhydycar complex but at the moment people can walk to the swimming pool and there's nothing easier than that.
'Drain on the budget'
"And I know the people in Gwaunfarren feel the same."
The new complex was approved by the council in July. Work will begin between January and March 2007 and is expected to open in 2008.
Mr Watkins admitted the cost of keeping Edwardsville and Gwaunfarren pools open would prove to be a drain on the budget.
"Edwardsville costs about £188,000 a year and Gwaunfarren £140,000 a year - that's more than £300,000 a year," he said.
Council leader Harvey Jones said: "Our vision is to be recognised as a vibrant thriving regional centre for the valleys, and with this development and the many others we have seen in the past few years we are well on our way to achieving it".
He said the new complex had the potential to attract visitors into the area.