Residents canvassed on £300k hall

RUSHMERE St Andrew residents will be invited to have their say on the development of a new £300,000 community hall in their parish.Questionnaires are due to be sent out to residents next week asking for their views on the hall, which will soon start to take shape off Broadland Way in the Bixley Farm area.

RUSHMERE St Andrew residents will be invited to have their say on the development of a new £300,000 community hall in their parish.

Questionnaires are due to be sent out to residents next week asking for their views on the hall, which will soon start to take shape off Broadland Way in the Bixley Farm area.

Rushmere St Andrew parish council is currently in the process of finding an architect to produce a final design and will be guided by feedback from the public.

Bob Swain, chairman of Rushmere St Andrew parish council, said: "When we have got responses from the public, we will be able to see what they want from the hall. It's their opportunity to have their say."

The multi-purpose facility will include a meeting room, kitchen and storage space, although the exact dimensions and details have yet to be finalised. It is hoped building work will begin within 18 months.

The council has already set aside around £150,000 for the project and plans to generate the remaining funds through grants and a loan.

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Mr Swain said: "We've already got a village hall in the north of the parish but we have got nothing in the Bixley Farm area. We believe it's essential for a community of that size to have its own community facility."

The hall will take its place alongside the Bixley Farm district centre, which will include four retail units and a day nursery for children. A convenience store and two fast food outlets have been earmarked to occupy three of the retail units, with a chemist and a hairdresser expressing interest in the fourth unit.

Marshgate Developments is due to start building work in April and the project is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Plans to set up a bus route to serve the centre, which would run through Brendon Drive, have previously caused controversy among residents in the area. They believe their road is too narrow for buses.

A definite decision on whether to include the bus route in the plans has yet to be made.

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