Community centre plans approved by council

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RESIDENTS living on a large Stowmarket estate have been waiting more than 10 years for much-needed community facilities, and on Wednesday the plans were finally approved by the council.

Work on the final phase of development at Cedars Park can begin after Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee gave the green-light to plans submitted by developer Crest Nicholson.

The land which will host the long-awaited community centre has now been purchased and donated to the project.

The plans, which include a multi-purpose community hall with bar, café, stage and changing rooms, a full-sized football pitch, a village centre and 209 houses and flats, were submitted last year.

Roger Willison-Gray, chairman of the Cedars Park Residents’ Association, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ that work can go now ahead.

“It has been a long time coming and it’s an absolutely brilliant result. There has been a lot of pain and suffering over the years and we have had twists and turns, but the outcome has been a result of a really strong partnership which we have built,” he said.

Mr Willison-Gray confirmed that more than £1 million of funding for the project was already in the bank – £435,000 of which was contributed by the developer as part of a Section 106 agreement.

Crest Nicholson is also required to provide funding towards highways infrastructure, the Suffolk Car Share Scheme and travel plan monitoring, as well as providing public open space and contributing £10,000 towards the provision of public art within the village centre.

The hall will be designed to be green to keep running costs down.

A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said: “We are pleased that the planning committee’s agreement to these plans will help facilitate a much hoped for community hall and improved playing field facility for the benefit of Cedars Park residents whilst seeing the final phases of the housing development constructed.”