Friday, 10 July 2020

Parish hall extension cost query

A BENSON man wants to know how much a planned extension to the parish hall will cost.

Jon Fowler, a former chairman of the parish council, made his request at a virtual meeting of the council, saying the figure should include any funds spent to date.

The project has been discussed for years and another planning application was submitted last month.

Councillor Rob Jordan said the council didn’t know the cost.

Mr Fowler replied: “I don’t understand how you have put a plan in to extend the parish hall without having some idea of the cost.”

Councillor Teresa McTeague said she had figures but couldn’t quote them off the top of her head.

Mr Fowler replied: “As long as somebody can come back to me. Don’t think there’s anything untoward about it, I’m only interested because I’m a taxpayer and I’ve contributed to the project.”

Figures provided by the council in April last year showed it had spent £27,864.46 from March 2016 to October 2018 on designs, advice, fees and expenses.

The latest plan would be a “cut-down” version of the £700,000 scheme that was granted planning permission in 2017 but then put on hold because of discussions about a new community building in the village.

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

The latest plans include a new parish office and storage, refurbishment of the kitchen, toilets, a new kitchen store, a new reception room and a lift.

South Oxfordshire District Council is due to make a decision on the application by July 10.

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