New hall for Suffolk village

A DILAPIDATED, underused village hall may be replaced with plush new facilities just yards away from its current site.Land on Kronji's Piece, off Top Street, in Martlesham, has been earmarked for the new building.

A DILAPIDATED, underused village hall may be replaced with plush new facilities just yards away from its current site.

Land on Kronji's Piece, off Top Street, in Martlesham, has been earmarked for the new building.

The land is situated next to recreation ground and plans for the new building include changing rooms as well as a main hall and kitchen facilities.

Martlesham community council have had several meetings with planners during the past 18 months and hope to submit an application for planning permission in the next few weeks.


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Laurence Burrows, vice chairman of the council, said: "We have been in continued consultation with planners throughout so that we come up with a design they will be happy with and I think, hopefully, we are almost there."

The building will be have a timber façade, in keeping with similar buildings in the area, and has been designed to be as low maintenance as possible.

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The changing rooms will be FA standard, allowing them to be used by visiting teams for Sunday league matches.

The current hall, which dates back to the 1920s, has no off-street parking and its kitchen has been closed as it is so old it no longer meets health and safety requirements. There is also poor disabled access.

Mr Burrows said: "It would need a lot of work to bring it up to modern standards. It has served the village very well but I think it has come to the end of its life. It hasn't been used much over the years.

"A lot of people are desperate to have some sort of changing facility and of course there is a need for a replacement for the village hall so we thought why not combine the two?"

The community council have carried out extensive consultation with the public to make sure the new hall meets their needs.

It will operate alongside the community hall in Felixstowe Road, which contains the parish council offices and a number of function rooms.

Money for the project will come mostly from a series of grants. Mr Burrows said: "We are going to need major support from organisations like the football foundation or the national lottery but there is something there which shows a bit of commitment. It will give the community a facility they can be proud of."

Lynne Lodge, clerk of Martlesham parish council, said: "The parish council has granted some money and has got that on hold. Obviously we are keen for a facility to be built down there."

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