Joy as new community centre and homes given green light for village

worlingham community facility

David Bland, Paul Gurbutt, Adrian Crockett, Norman Brooks, Jon Smith, Wendy Summerfield, Sheila Smith, Steve Larkin and Dave Howson, trustees of the Worlingham Community Facility, at the site of the former Worlingham Primary School where Worlingham Community Facility will be built. - Credit: Danielle Booden

It has been nine years in the making but a Suffolk village will finally welcome a community centre and 19 new homes after planning approval was granted by East Suffolk Council.

Worlingham is believed to be the largest village in Suffolk without a community centre, pub or meeting room following the closure of the church hall in 2008.

But now, nine years after Worlingham Primary School moved from Rectory Lane to the larger premises on Garden Lane which is the former Worlingham Middle School premises, the site will be used for the houses and community centre.

worlingham community facility

The former site of the now-demolished Worlingham Primary School where the Worlingham Community Facility is to be built. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The land was legally transferred to the Worlingham Community Facility group from Suffolk County Council at the end of August 2021 which entered into partnership with Badger Building (E.Anglia) Ltd.

Adrian Crockett, chair of Worlingham Community Facility group gave his reaction, saying: "It has been a long time coming and a bureaucratic process but it is great to see it all come to fruition.

"Finally we are there and it looks like full development of the site will begin in 2023."

community facility

The former site of the now-demolished Worlingham Primary School where the Worlingham Community Facility is to be built. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Crockett is excited about the opportunities the new homes and community centre will bring to the village.

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"This will mean a lot for Worlingham because the village doesn't have a lot of facilities which cater to the current population.

"It will be a centrepiece for the community.

"The parish council are expected to move into the facility and location wise it is right by the church with views of All Saints Green as well.

"There has not been much opposition and controversy to the development because it is a facility which is needed in the village.

"Speaking to locals in the past the reaction has always been positive.

"I think people will be amazed when it is finally built and will appreciate what an asset it will be for the village.

"There is an overwhelming feeling among us all now wanting to see it up and running."

community facility worlingham

The former site of the now-demolished Worlingham Primary School where the Worlingham Community Facility is to be built. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Councillors at the planning meeting were told the housing development would enable the delivery of the community centre and also provide a "useful contribution to housing supply".