Step closer to �2m centre

THE long-awaited dream of a new �2m community centre for Bungay has moved a step closer after fresh proposals were submitted for planning permission.

It has taken 12 years of hard work to get the project to this stage, but if approved the old premises in Upper Olland Street will be replaced with a new community and enterprise centre in Old Grammar Lane. There would also be a children’s playground in the south eastern corner of the site.

Martin Evans, chairman of the development committee for the new Honeypot Centre, said: “We have come to the end now of a period of working with the London consultants Coin Street for which we were given a grant from the Communitybuilders organisation. That work has produced the plans which have now gone in for planning permission.”

If the plans are approved Mr Evans said he hopes to see the building in place in the next two years.

The application submitted to Waveney District Council is for full planning consent for a new single-storey building for a combined community and enterprise centre on behalf of Bungay Community Council.

According to planning documents, the community centre would comprise a principal hall space and a smaller meeting room, augmented by a foyer, catering and ancillary facilities that wrap around the hall on three sides.

The main hall would have a maximum seated capacity of 150 people and the meeting room a further 40.

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The centre would operate accommodate user groups including local church and town council meetings, local societies, clubs and a relocated youth centre.

The enterprise centre combines individual start-up units, with an open plan area for desk space rental.

Mr Evans said: “It is rather extraordinary, for a market town of our size, for years to have depended on this early 1940s army building built for the use of the American bomber squadron at Flixton Airfield. It is very well used by all sorts of people, different ages and groups, but unfortunately it is past its sell by date.”

Work is under way to secure funding for the project. The plans will be considered by the district council.