Work begins on new community centre after decades of 'false starts'
PUBLISHED: 10:07 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 04 February 2020
Building work on a town's community centre has officially started after decades of planning, fundraising and delays.
Work began on the new Bungay Community Centre on Monday, February 3, at the rear of the playing field at Old Grammar Lane.
The old Honeypot Centre will remain open until the project is completed, when it is set to be demolished to make way for housing.
Bungay reeve Judy Cloke, chair of the Trustee of the Bungay Honeypot Centre, said: "This project has been ongoing for so long and with so many false starts it is no wonder many local people truly believed it was never going to happen.
"Over the past 18 months, the project has become re-energised.
"A combination of funding streams became available and, with the emergence of a local builder who is willing and able to commit to the project, together with the continued, enthusiastic input from OWL Architects, it means building the new centre has become a reality.
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"It has been so difficult to get the project to its current status that we have been unwilling to make big announcements for fear that, as before, nothing would actually happen.
"We wanted to wait until we had some definite news to provide to the people of Bungay, with the belief that they are really going to have a new, purpose built facility that everyone can take advantage of.
"We have a long way to go yet before we can open the new centre, but at least we are now making a proper start."
Initial proposals had been submitted for the development in 2011, after more than a decade of planning, with the aim of building beginning within two years.
Funding from the project includes East Suffolk Council's community infrastructure levy (CIL), as well as from the trustees of Bungay Medical Centre and the Bungay Town Trust.
Councillor David Ritchie, cabinet member for planning, said: "CIL has been allocated to help close the funding gapfor this essential infrastructure project and to support the local area where planned growth is happening.
"This infrastructue is referred to in the Waveney Local Plan and I am delighted that CIL funding has been allocated to this worthwhile project which will truly benefit the people of Bungay."