Meeting to be held over Framlingham’s £1.6m proposals for community centre

A computer image of what Framlingham's new community centre could look like. Picture: HOLLINS

A computer image of what Framlingham's new community centre could look like. Picture: HOLLINS - Credit: Archant

A public meeting is to be held over a Suffolk market town’s latest community centre plans – amid mounting opposition from those living near to the site.

Framlingham Town Council is inviting people to find out more about the proposals and have their say during a meeting next month.

The community centre, which would be built on land owned by the Mills Charity, between Vyces Road and Brook Lane, is the latest in a long-running series of proposals for the town, dating back at least two decades.

It is estimated to cost around £1.6million, which would come from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), raised from developer contributions, along with grants and loans, if necessary. The new facility would host health, well-being and leisure activities as well as functions in a main hall for up to 200 seated people. It would also include audio visual equipment, storage and a foyer with kitchen, cloakroom and toilets, as well as a 65-space car park.

FTC, which set up a working group last year to develop the proposals, said the centre was identified as a high priority during the town’s neighbourhood plan. While it acknowledged the schemes proposed previously had failed, the council claimed “a number of factors have come together recently that have made the project viable”.

“The aim is to ensure the centre provides a venue for a range of the town’s social groups and clubs, promoting activity to support local people whilst at the same time providing a large space for social and family gatherings and theatre style functions as well as proving low cost hire where needed,” a spokesman added.

Although there have been long-standing calls to create a community centre, people living near to the latest proposed site have raised concerns about the location’s suitability.

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Christopher Hudson, one of Framlingham’s district councillors, who met with residents recently, said the view was the centre was “being forced into an inappropriate and ill-conceived space”.

Residents have warned that for a centre of such a size to be viable it would need to host regular events, some running late, causing disruption for those nearby. The residents have recruited planning consultants for representation.

The meeting is on Wednesday, October 11, from 7pm at the Headmaster Porter Hall, Framlingham College.

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