Will Framlingham ever get a community centre? Latest plans are met with opposition

The community centre could be built on the Mills Charity's site, alongside 14 almshouses, which are

The community centre could be built on the Mills Charity's site, alongside 14 almshouses, which are already underway. Picture: ANDREW HIRST - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk town’s long-running and much troubled attempts to build a community centre have hit a new obstacle, after people living near the proposed site voiced opposition to the plans.

Around 20 members of the public attended Framlingham Town Council’s meeting on Thursday night, many to hear the latest on the community centre, which would be built between Vyces Road and Brook Lane, where 14 almshouses are already underway.

Residents are concerned the centre will have to host events finishing late in the evening to cover its maintenance overheads.

It is the latest in a succession of attempts to build a community centre in the town, none of which have yet proved successful.

The town council, which is leading the current project, held briefing sessions with residents last month and plans a further public meeting in October.

However one resident, speaking on Thursday night, questioned how far the project would have already progressed by the time of the meeting. “I’m totally against the planning application, where it’s situated and everything that goes with it,” he added.

Town councillors said no decisions would be taken before the event, at which residents’ questions could be answered.

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Christopher Hudson, one of Framlingham’s district councillors, said after the meeting that he wanted a community centre for the town, but was not convinced of the current location.

Negotiations with the site’s current landowner, the Mills Charity, could cause further problems for the project.

Councillor John Jones, chairman of the infrastructure plan committee, said that “if the matters are not finalised satisfactorily” then the date of an upcoming briefing in Market Hill, as well as a leaflet delivery to households, might have to be reconsidered.

The latest complications come after a series of failed ventures in the town stretching back a decade.

In 2007,the Framlingham Community Centre Trust’s plans to build a £1million centre at the site of St Michael’s Rooms ran in to problems over a “misunderstanding” about land availability for parking.

Later attempts to convert the old police station in Badingham Road failed to raise the required money in time. Even Ed Sheeran was rumoured to be looking at plans for a youth centre at the site but these did not materialise either.

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