The future of buildings old and new are in the news in the village of Barrow.
The Grade II listed Town Estate Room in Ley Road had been part of childhood there for more than a century.
It became the village primary school in about 1872, incorporating part of a 17th century house, which, according to its historic building listing, probably included part of an earlier building.
More recently it was the home of Plum Tree Pre School, but when they moved to a building attached to the village school, it was left empty.
Parish council chairman Graham Judge said: “They’re now trying to get funds and grants to put it back into use as a community centre with a drop-in centre.”
Meanwhile, villagers are waiting for St Edmundsbury Borough council’s planning committee to decided on February 18 whether to grant permission for 80 new homes, including 24 affordable ones, on a site off Barrow Hill.
The site has long been earmarked for housing in the borough’s strategic plan and the parish council has backed the application.
Cllr Judge said: “Its been subject to at least three public consultations and the developers, Hopkins Homes, put on an exhibition in the Village Hall. The majority of people aren’t against it, though some of the reservations people have had are valid. Traffic flows need to be addressed.
“But I’ve had letters from young people in the village saying they need houses they can buy because they don’t want to leave the village, they were brought up here.
“It’s a working village. It’s got an attractive school, shops, active pubs, a Post Office, and we won’t retain those if the village doesn’t grow.”
The website www.around-barrow.co.uk recognises that barrow is almost as self sufficient now as it was back in the 1800s when it had a windmill, three bakers and a shoemaker.
It says: “We still have two shops, two Schools, two Pubs, a Post Office, and a doctors’ surgery, as well as local tradesmen of all descriptions.”