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Framlingham: Community hall plans live on despite setback

PUBLISHED: 13:02 09 April 2014

The Drill Hall in Framlingham was one of several sites proposed for a community hall.

The Drill Hall in Framlingham was one of several sites proposed for a community hall.

Archant

Fresh calls for a community hall in east Suffolk have led to further assurances that the project will be pursued – despite facing major challenges.

A recent residents’ survey in Framlingham demonstrated the community’s demands for the facility with more than three quarters of respondents highlighting it as a priority for the town.

Faced with these demands, Framlingham and District Development Trust said it will continue working to provide the new centre, even though its past four attempts failed at the final hurdle.

John Speight, who led the Trust’s latest project to convert the old police station in Badingham Road, said: “There’s still a will so the team will continue to look for a new site – even if there’s no obvious contender. Never say never.”

Mr Speight believes the group’s biggest obstacles to be funding and available land, particularly as the National Lottery had blocked its bid.

Alison Bowman, the Trust’s chairman, is also concerned that many of the viable sites are being taken up with housing developments.

Although she is hopeful the project will succeed eventually, she claims the regular setbacks have begun to make her “despair”.

“Framlingham desperately needs one and it’s ridiculous that it hasn’t got one,” she said.

“It’s very 
frustrating that it hasn’t happened and sometimes I get very angry about it.”

The Trust’s earlier plans to create a new facility at St Michael’s Church Rooms, the Drill Hall and at another site on Brook Lane, have all failed due to funding problems or land availability.

The latest setback came in December when its request to lease the old police station from the Mills Charity was refused.

Fewer vulnerable people across the region will go hungry thanks to the opening of a new food distribution hub in Ipswich.

Essex County Council is set to put its element of tax bills up by almost 5% from April as it prepares for the day when financial help from the government ceases.

The University of Suffolk has announced Professor Helen Langton will succeed Richard Lister OBE as vice-chancellor this summer.

The amount paid out due to medical blunders at the region’s mental health trust has increased five-fold in five years, new figures reveal.

A father-of-three suffering severe walking problems has spoken of his gratitude to surgeons at Ipswich Hospital after becoming the first patient in the east of England to receive a pioneering knee operation.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said it is “inconceivable” that the Copdock Mill interchange between the A14 and A12 south of Ipswich will not be rebuilt over the medium term.

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