Facilities boost for Adastral homes

HOPES of a community centre for an isolated housing estate at Felixstowe have moved a massive step closer.Residents of Adastral Close – a 70-home development of former RAF homes sited close to the port – need the facilities because they are just too far away from the town.

By Richard Cornwell

HOPES of a community centre for an isolated housing estate at Felixstowe have moved a massive step closer.

Residents of Adastral Close – a 70-home development of former RAF homes sited close to the port – need the facilities because they are just too far away from the town.

Many of the residents are on low incomes and do not have cars, and getting to clubs, sports facilities and evening classes is difficult.

The Adastral Residents' Association was formed after an action group was launched to fund a community centre, and has been running a centre in one of the houses on the estate for the past two years.

The situation though is far from ideal as the house – given rent-free by the housing association that owns the estate – is a mid-terrace and householders on either side have been concerned about noise and disturbance.

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Councillors have also only given temporary permission and have consistently warned that the use must soon end.

Now the association is raising funds for a £9,500 portable building, which can be put in place while fundraising takes place for a permanent centre.

The appeal has now received a big boost with a £2,000 grant from Suffolk Coastal council's grants task group.

The money will be added to the money already raised – which includes £4,600 from Awards for All, £1,000 from Orwell Housing Association, which has also agreed to pay the planning application fee of £220, plus £100 from the Quakers, £500 from the Salvation Army, and cash promised by councillor David Rowe from his locality budget.

The Felixstowe Church Council has also offered £1,000 once the centre is up and running.

The town council, which says the facilities are urgently needed, will also be considering a grant.

The centre will be used for a variety of activities, including self-help groups, educational classes, children's clubs, youth club, and as a meeting place for residents.

The current centre in the house has already been running computer courses for people on the estate and has formed a link with the Open College Network, which has meant certificates have been issued and some residents have been spurred on to go to college.

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