Bid for new community centre to cope with expanding village near Norwich
- Credit: WT Design Ltd
A £1.2m community centre could be built in the heart of a village which will expand by 150pc due to a housing boom.
Plans for the eco-friendly and contemporary building on Marlingford Road, Easton, have been submitted by PJB Planning on behalf of the parish council to South Norfolk Council.
If approved, it would be three times the size of the current village hall, also on Marlingford Road, which needs updating, according to Peter Milliken, 57, parish councillor and former chairman who has lived in Easton for around 30 years.
It is connected to the 890-home development off Dereham Road, called Festival Park, being developed by Persimmon Homes Anglia and Mr Milliken hopes it could open within the next two-three years.
He said: "It will make big improvements for the area. A new village hall has been needed for a long time. We are at last receiving something out of this massive development in Easton.
"It is exciting times. I think it will be a wonderful asset to the community. It will blend in with the environment and will include lots of innovations.
"At the moment Easton lacks community facilities, We have no pub and nowhere for people to get together. Rather than be classed as a dormitory settlement on the edge of Norwich the best thing to do is provide a hub where people can meet in the wonderful village of Easton.
"We are trying to create that that community feel in the village and invest for future generations."
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As well as a space for indoor sports and community groups, Mr Milliken said the council, which will own and manage the building, wanted an office within the centre available 24/7 as a rest stop for police officers, firefighters and paramedics in which they can have a hot drink or use the toilets.
The hub would also include a kitchen, bar, another office, changing rooms and 22 car parking spaces, including two electrical car charging areas.
Mr Milliken said it would be funded by approximately £1m from South Norfolk Council through section 106 money and £250,000 from the village's Community Infrastructure Levy.
He added the council wanted the old village hall to stay and be re-used by people in the village which has 620 homes.