Friday, 24 May 2019

Call for total cost of hall extension

A RESIDENT has demanded to know how much has been spent on a project to extend Benson’s parish hall.

Figures in the council’s finance report at its annual parish meeting revealed £18,166 had been spent on professional fees in the last financial year.

Ian Leppard, of High Street, said: “That’s quite a lot of money, really. This parish hall extension has been going on probably for 12 or 15 years.

“What I’d really like to know is how much has been spent in those 12 to 15 years? It’s going to be about the cost of the rebuild.”

Council chairman Bill Pattison replied saying this would be made available.

Last month plans to extend the hall were halted again.

The £700,000 scheme was granted planning permission in 2017 but the project was put on hold while plans for a new community building in the village were being agreed.

Cala Homes plans to include the building in the second phase of its 241-home development north of Littleworth Road following negotiations with the parish council.

The council says the parish hall project will be resumed in the “near future”.

It will include a ground floor extension and a roof extension. The entrance hall will be extended, the toilets and kitchen refurbished and solar panels fitted. The post office will move to the hall from the sports pavilion.

The project has been discussed for several years and revised a number of times.

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