Issue - meetings

Heather House

Meeting: 05/01/2021 - Communities, Housing and Environment Committee (Item 121)

121 Heather House and Pavilion Building Update pdf icon PDF 185 KB

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The Housing Delivery Manager introduced the report, highlighting the updated designs of both the community centre and residential elements. Following the second pre-application meeting with the Planning team, the number of residential dwellings proposed had decreased from 12 to 11, with three 4-bed houses replacing three of the 3-bed houses. This was to lower the density of the development and increase the range of houses in line with the Local Plan Policy. In order for the rugby clubs to continue using the building, the design had been updated to include additional changing room facilities and increased storage. The updated design increased the budget shortfall from £234,476 to £399,029. This could be reduced to £299,029 if the Council’s bid to the Land Release Fund was successful, which would be confirmed in February 2021.


Concerns were expressed that further information was required due to the increased funding shortfall and that the designs focussed on the promotion of the rugby clubs’ use of the building rather than as a community centre facility. As such, the Committee considered whether it was appropriate to defer the item. However, it was noted that further information would be provided as the scheme progressed.


It was confirmed that the additional facilities proposed would enable the rugby clubs to continue using the building, rather than the rugby clubs being the primary users. It was explained that the rugby clubs have a high profile locally, and their presence at the centre had a positive impact on the community which it was important to maintain.


In response to questions, the Housing Delivery Manager confirmed that the Stones Community Trust were aware of the designs proposed and continued to express an interest in managing the facility.


RESOLVED: That the Policy and Resources Committee be recommended to accept the enlarged and enhanced scheme, in line with option 3.3 of the report, with an increased funding gap of a further £0.25 million, and approve at risk expenditure of £200,000 to make a detailed planning application for the scheme, but that the construction project should not commence until the increased funding gap has been bridged.