Halesworth arts appeal

THE artistic director of a Halesworth arts venue has lodged an appeal after “creative and unique” plans which could have generated much-needed funds for the facility were turned down.

James Holloway from The New Cut Arts Centre submitted plans to Waveney District Council earlier this year for additional studio space and new roof covering for its roof terrace, which would enable it to be used for private functions such as weddings or corporate events.

The plans for a “modern tensile roof structure” on the flat roof of the arts centre were recommended for approval by Halesworth Town Council and two local residents wrote to the district council in support of the scheme.

But planning permission was refused in April as it was considered that the roof structure would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the building and surrounding street scene in Halesworth’s conservation area. Mr Holloway has now lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate and the secretary of state will make a decision on the scheme.

He said: “We thought the plans would be perfect for an arts centre and would offer something creative and something pretty unique for this area. It is a stunning position and you can see right over the rooftops of Halesworth and over the Blyth Valley.”

Documents submitted to the district council in support of the application state: “The proposal will allow the existing flat roof to be covered with a tensile roof structure, which will also cover the roof to the music studio.

“Part of the proposal will allow for the existing lift to be extended up onto the roof terrace to allow wheelchair access, with the creation of a new studio space.

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It adds: “The current proposal will allow public access for events at the arts centre.

“The roof terrace may also be used for private functions, such as weddings or corporate events.

“This will generate much-needed funds for the community arts centre.”

Mr Holloway said the arts centre was totally un-funded and he was “very hopeful” about the appeal. Similar roof coverings were in use at London’s Imagination Building and Lord’s Cricket Ground Pavilion.