Monday, 18 October 2021

New building unlikely for Henley Youth Centre

MONEY generated from the sale of the former Henley Youth Centre site is unlikely to go towards a new building

MONEY generated from the sale of the former Henley Youth Centre site is unlikely to go towards a new building.

Instead it will be used to fund specific youth projects in the town. Developers have until March 26 to submit offers for the land in Deanfield Avenue, which went on the market last month and has been allocated 25 homes under the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan.

Clive Wilkinson, chairman of the centre trustees, said: ?I see the money going towards projects that have an impact on an annual or bi-annual basis. It?s a much more flexible approach and I believe it will benefit young people more effectively.?

The sale is being handled by Reading chartered surveyors Haslams.

Mr Wilkinson said: ?We have had a number of interested parties applying for the sales packs.

?We have also got a number of open days with Haslams when people can come and look around the site.

?It?s a very good site as it?s in the centre of town. Planning permission shouldn?t be an issue and I don?t think this would be an intrusive development.?

Steven Smith, a partner at Haslams, said: ?We?re inviting bids on the condition of planning permission being granted for development or they can make a bid unconditionally.

?It is more than likely that the site will be sold subject to the granting of planning permission.

?We could sell it unconditionally but without the benefit of planning permission it could achieve a lower price.?

Mr Smith said it was hoped a contract could be agreed in April or May and the buyer would have to seek planning permission, which would take between six months and a year.

Haslams is also selling derelict land behind the site which belongs to The Henley College while Thames Water owns a small parcel of land beyond that which is already under offer from an unnamed buyer.

The youth centre was closed last year after the Thamesfield Youth Association announced that it could no longer afford the running costs.

Mr Wilkinson said the association was now subsidising the junior youth clubs that are run at the Henley YMCA and youth and community project Nomad on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The HOT (Henley-on-Thames) Frog café, which gives young adults with learning difficulties a taste of work and is based at the centre, will remain open until July.

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