Stowmarket: New design for The Mix youth centre project revealed

SUFFOLK County Council is to put forward a new architectural design for the new youth centre, The Mix, after the previous one was going to be �250,000 over budget.

The council is working on obtaining planning permission to demolish the Victorian town house in Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, which will form the front of the new youth centre designed for 13 to 19-year-olds.

The original budget allocated �350,000 to refurbish the building but after work began on the strip-out it became apparent that it was in a poor state of repair.

To repair and make the building structurally sound it was going to cost an additional �250,000 over the �350,000 budget.

The council’s planning application to demolish the building was turned down last year after a Mid Suffolk District Council planning committee objected to the plans.

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But now the county council has said they have worked with both Stowmarket Town Council and district councillors who have been “very supportive” of the new design.

Anne Whybrow, town mayor and county councillor for Stowmarket said: “The previous application was not a sort of statement that we wanted to see for a building which is a gateway into the town.”

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Mrs Whybrow said that the new design worked as local young people, who had been involved in the project since it started, had added their input into the new plans.

The full cost of the new design has not yet been announced, as it is still subject to a public consultation, but the county council has said they are “confident” that it will be completed “within or very near” to the �350,000 budget. The new design will be submitted for planning approval this month and will then go to a committee meeting in October.

The design will be able to be viewed on Saturday at 11am–3pm at Redwoods, The Red Gables, in Stowmarket.

Building works to the back of the site, which will contain a performance hall, supported housing unit, sound and art studios, a caf�, advice centre and offices and a garden are scheduled to begin in March 2013.

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