Centre submits latest proposals

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PLANNING details surrounding the second phase of development of a new arts centre in Stowmarket have been submitted to council officials.

The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts (JPCCA), in Church Walk, is being developed in the former Corn Exchange building in memory of the popular DJ who lived in nearby Great Finborough for many years.

Split into three development phases, plans have now been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council planning officers for the second phase of the project.

This comprises external alterations, including putting in new entrance doors, replacing windows with glass work designed by Tom Pearman, removing a staircase and widening the fire exit.

This stage will also see submission of change of use for the building from class D2 (assembly and leisure) to form an arts centre with mixed class D2 and D1 (non-residential institutions).

A statement submitted along with the planning application said: “This work will make the building useable for a wider range of functions and to help the community be part of further development of ideas for phase three.”

The second phase has secured some funding, but requires more money to be raised. When it is completed, the JPCCA will be used as an arts centre and performance venue.

A planning statement said: “The scope of the overall project entails the refurbishment of the existing building to provide a functional, flexible and energy efficient building from which a variety of services will be delivered.”

The building is owned by Stowmarket Town Council and leased to the JPCCA board.