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Tuddenham: Vacant primary school site could become home to new community facility

12:04 22 January 2014

Simon Pott

Simon Pott

A former school site which has been vacant for a year-and-a-half could be the location of a new village hall and six homes.

There has been some speculation about the future of the former Tuddenham Primary School site.

The school, in Tuddenham High Street, has been empty since July 2012 as the children moved to a new facility in nearby Red Lodge.

The Cockerton Trust, which owns the freehold of the land, has put in an outline planning application for six homes, a grass recreation/overflow parking area and new village hall, including new access to existing community facilities. The existing village hall is in a poor state of repair and had been “condemned” by the insurers, a statement with the planning application said.

It also said if the land where the current village hall stands was sold for a couple of homes it could release “a significant proportion” of the funding for the new village hall.

The Cockerton Trust may also be willing to contribute some cash towards the project. Simon Pott, agent for the trust, said: “We want to try and be helpful and the whole basis of what we have been trying to achieve was there would be a considerable benefit to the village.”

Roger Lawson, chairman of Tuddenham Parish Council and a member of the village hall committee, said the committee was “very keen” on the plans.

“The majority is in favour of it. The parish council – because it really has no direct interest – is only keen on it because it’s great for the village.”

He said the new hall would dramatically increase the range of leisure activities on offer in Tuddenham.

Mr Pott said the aim was to get the planning permission and put the site on the market in April or May.

He said there was an issue over how the money raised from the sale was going to be divided between the Cockerton Trust and Suffolk County Council – which built the school in the 1960s – if at all, which needed to be resolved.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “We are working with the trust in order to establish the future use of the site for the benefit of all parties.”

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