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Housing plans could see new community centre

Forest Heath area saying that St John's Community Centre could be condemned imminently. If it closes a lot of different groups will be kicked out.

Forest Heath area saying that St John's Community Centre could be condemned imminently. If it closes a lot of different groups will be kicked out.

MILDENHALL residents may get a new community centre, if plans for 20 houses in St John’s Close are approved.

Orbit Housing has submitted a planning application to Forest Heath District Council to develop a site at St John’s Close.

If approved, 18 affordable homes and two market rented houses would be built and St John’s Community Centre would be demolished and replaced with a purpose-built new building.

Paul Bonnett, Orbit Homes’ assistant development director, said: “Working in partnership with the council and Keystone Development Trust, we propose to build a new purpose-built community centre with enhanced facilities for the whole community to use.

“This will be built to a high specification and is designed to have low running costs, replacing the old community centre which is no longer fit for purpose and uneconomical to operate.”

Keystone Development Trust currently manages St John’s Community Centre and would take over the new facility.

Neil Stott, Keystone Development Trusts’ chief executive, said: “The existing centre was built in the sixties. it’s quite large and it’s reaching the end of its useful life. It would cost a lot of money to refurb.”

Mr Stott said community centres were very difficult to ‘keep alive’ but that profit from the two houses proposed to be let at market rent would be used to help finance its running costs.

Keystone Development Trust has been involved in the design of the building, aiming to cater it to the needs of the community.

There would be no large hall in the community centre, the largest room planned to hold about 35 people, but it would include a youth room and multi-purpose room.

Of the 18 affordable homes planned for the 0.68ha site, nine are proposed to be two- bedroom properties, seven three-bedroom properties and two four-bedroom properties.

Mr Bonnett said Orbit had consulted the public in November last year, prior to submitting a planning application and the feedback they received was positive.

 

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