December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
They feared the day might never come, but residents and councillors of a Costessey housing estate witnessed the turning of the first sod to signal the start of building work on a long-awaited community centre.
Lisa Fryer, a long-term resident of the Queen’s Hills estate, did the honours by turning the sod at the site of the new £1m community centre in Poethlyn Drive, to the delight of councillors who had feared the centre might not go ahead after the housing estate’s lead developers Cofton went into administration in 2009.
Richard Rymarz, deputy parish council clerk, said: “We are absolutely delighted that at long last it has started and is going ahead.
“We have already had our first official site meeting and the next one will be on site when they have their mobile buildings in place.”
The building, which has been funded with £100,000 from Norfolk County Council and £15,000 from South Norfolk Council, will have a large hall, measuring 18m by 10m, a meeting room, two changing rooms, a kitchen and store rooms.
There will also be state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities in both the main hall and the meeting room.
The centre project should be completed within 34 weeks.
Families have waited years for the hub, but work was held up after the estate’s lead developers, Cofton, went into administration in 2009.
There were then delays in the consortium of developers handing over £675,000 towards the centre.
But a threat of legal action by bosses at South Norfolk Council prompted the developers to transfer the money in March 2012.
In September, the parish council announced that, after eight months of negotiations, the licences to build and occupy the new community centre had been signed and that work could begin.
The breakthrough came after South Norfolk Council stepped in to provide a surety to cover the extra drainage work needed. This broke the deadlock and allowed the agreements to be finalised, the parish council said. The licences are needed as the land is owned by the developers and work could not start until the details had been tied up.