Old school building to be demolished as work is set to start on 79 homes and community centre project

This shows the layout of the development area on the former Howard Primary School site Picture: PEGA

This shows the layout of the development area on the former Howard Primary School site Picture: PEGASUS DESIGN - Credit: PEGASUS DESIGN

A former school in Bury St Edmunds will soon be demolished to make way for nearly 80 new homes and a modern community centre.

This image includes councillor Paul Hopfensperger (far right) in front of the current Newbury Commun

This image includes councillor Paul Hopfensperger (far right) in front of the current Newbury Community Centre Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Contributed

Details around the appearance, landscaping and layout of the development on the former Howard Community Primary School site on the Howard estate were approved by West Suffolk Council's planning committee on February 5.

Outline planning permission had already been granted for the Keepmoat Homes scheme for 79 homes and a new community centre incorporating a replacement Carousel Children's Centre.

The project is a partnership between the Newbury Community Association - which runs the current, outdated Newbury Community Centre - Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council.

READ MORE: This is what a new Suffolk housing development and community centre could look likeKeiran Wakley, pre-construction manager at Keepmoat Homes, said in a letter to residents that the firm planned to start getting the site in St Olaves Road ready this week (from February 3) including securing the area with fencing and demolishing the existing school buildings.

He said: "These works will not impact on the operational functions of either the Newbury Community Centre or the Carousel Children's Centre and both will remain open throughout the duration of these works. Nor will there be any road closures."


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These enabling works could begin before the reserved matters application was decided, and, now it has been rubber stamped, new building can start on the site.

Keepmoat anticipates the enabling works will last up to 12 weeks, taking place during normal working hours to minimise disturbance for residents.

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Councillor Paul Hopfensperger, who represents the St Olaves ward where the development site is, said: "I am absolutely delighted after over eight years of hard work we are finally going to deliver a brand new, state-of-the-art £2million community centre for the people of the area. There will be nothing like this in the area so it will be really exciting for them."

The centre will incorporate the children's centre and social club and include two halls - one small and one large hall capable of being divided into two smaller halls - a community hub café, committee room, offices and associated uses. The proposals also allow for the future provision of changing facilities.

There would be parking provision for 62 vehicles, as well as covered cycle storage for up to 16 bicycles, covered secure buggy storage for up to 12 buggies, a covered smoking shelter, external seating and an outdoor play area for the children's centre.

The new homes would all be two storeys in a mix of detached, semi-detached and short terraced units including two-bed, three-bed and four-bed properties. A total of 23 two and three-bed houses would be affordable.

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