Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Developer to provide community centre

A NEW community centre is set to be created in Benson.

Cala Homes wants to include the building in the second phase of a development of 241 homes to the north of Littleworth Road.

It would be known as the “Community Hall for Benson” and the parish council says it would be a “much-needed” facility.

The land is one of the sites earmarked for development in the village’s neighbourhood plan, which passed a referendum in June.

Cala is proposing a single-storey building but the council would like a bigger one to cater for a wide range of village community groups, including the scouts and guides, who currently meet at the hall in Littleworth Road and have a waiting list.

Councillor Philip Murray said there were six or seven groups that were interested in using the new building, including the village’s running club, the Benson Striders, and it could also cater for yoga classes.

He said consultation meetings had been held with potential users.

“They are not all going to get everything they want — we’re making that very clear,” he said.

“My view, and the view of the people who are working on it, is two floors are better than one. It gives us additional options.”

He said a final specification would be given to Cala, adding: “I will bring it back to the council to approve the approach and funding.”

Councillor Michael Winton said: “I still think we need more than one hall. We’re getting an extra 1,000 homes so we need more.”

• The council has agreed the make-up of a new working group for the implementation of the neighbourhood plan. It will consist of two parish councillors and four people from the Benson neighbourhood plan team.

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