Delay decision on hall – plea

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A COMMUNITY association which is fighting to keep a roof over its head has urged Suffolk County Council to delay making a final decision on its current home’s future.

Beck Row Community Association currently uses a centre adjoining the village’s primary school in The Street.

But plans to build two new classrooms on the site of the centre’s small hall could lead to it looking for a new home.

Suffolk County Council owns the site but it is leased to the community association.

A meeting to make a final decision on the plans is scheduled for January 24.

Grenville Dale, chairman of the community association, has written to Mark Barnard, the officer in charge of the application, to request that the meeting be delayed.

Mr Dale claims that some of the drawings that make up the application are inaccurate.

He said: “The association feels that there are still some discrepancies on the drawing that has been submitted for planning and we suggest that the meeting be deferred to a later date so further information can be produced.”

The plans have met with resistance from residents and councillors.

Several of the objections sent to Suffolk County Council concern parking at the site.

Patricia Barker, president of the community centre and representative of the Thursday Club which meets at the centre, said parking in front of the small hall would be ‘limited’ should the plans go ahead.

She said visitors of the centre would then inevitably have to park in Lamble Close, a residential street.

Suffolk County Council has offered the association £50,000 if the move goes ahead.

Kay Sallis, association member and parish council chairman, said in a letter of objection that the offer was an ‘insult’, as the group had raised £150,000 to build the hall originally in the 1980s.

At a meeting of Beck Row, Holywell Row and Kenny Hill Parish Council on Tuesday, councillors were informed that only one member of Forest Heath District Council would be on the decision-making committee.

Mr Dale said groups had already begun to stop using the centre due to the uncertainty of its future.

The meeting will be held at Endeavour House, in Ispwich, at 10.30am.

Mr Dale added that he is planning to take a coach with supporters to the meeting.