Grundisburgh to have new village hall
A SITE for a new village hall has been approved despite objections from planning officers and residents.Suffolk Coastal District Council wanted to refuse permission for a village hall to be built in Stoney Road, Grundisburgh, near Woodbridge.
A SITE for a new village hall has been approved despite objections from planning officers and residents.
Suffolk Coastal District Council wanted to refuse permission for a village hall to be built in Stoney Road, Grundisburgh, near Woodbridge. The officers recommended that the present 75-year-old hall should be updated and a car park could be laid on a field opposite the hall.
They were unhappy that the parish council's preferred site was away from the village and visitors had to drive to functions.
But they were overruled last week when all the councillors on the development control sub-committee passed the Stoney Road site.
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After the meeting Peter Brunning, a Grundisburgh and Culpho parish councillor, said: ''Common sense has prevailed in the end. There was just no alternative. We have spent five years looking all around. The hall was one of our Millennium projects and perhaps it will be built within three years.''
A committee report said the existing hall, on the corner of Ipswich Road and Post Mill Gardens, needed considerable upgrading to meet current legislation and needs. The parking was also inadequate.
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The parish council identified six sites and gave reasons why Chapel Field; the playing field; the present site; land opposite the hall and Woodbridge Road were not appropriate.
The council said Stoney Road was preferable because the land could be bought at an acceptable cost, it was accessible and there was room for other community facilities.
John Leggett, Grundisburgh's district councillor, said Ipswich Road was 400% busier than Stoney Road and it was in a Special Landscape Area. He added Ipswich Road's environment would be more adversely affected by a development than Stoney Road which already had National Grid power lines.
The issues over a new site had split the village and the district council received 17 letters from objectors, and nine letters from supporters.
Objectors wanted a more central location for a new hall and some villagers were worried that their council tax bills would rise to pay for a larger venue. There were also claims that the hall was under utilised, although the parish council said it was booked on 320 occasions in 2001.