Businessman delighted at community hub response

What the new community hub in Hellesdon could look like: This would be the courtyard interior. Submitted pictures

What the new community hub in Hellesdon could look like: This would be the courtyard interior. Submitted pictures - Credit: Archant

Plans for a community hub in a Norwich suburb have been backed by residents.

Norwich businessman Graham Dacre wants to build the hub on the former Volvo building and used car sales facilities in Cromer and Reepham Roads in Hellesdon.

A planning application has been lodged with Broadland District Council for the change of use, alteration and extension to the site and buildings to create a community centre. If the plans are approved, the vacant five-acre site will be transformed into a community hub with a new centre, a 300-seater church auditorium, motor museum, boxing gym and shops.

Mr Dacre's company, the Lind Trust, acquired the site last year for an undisclosed fee.

The large site has been vacant following the transfer of the Volvo franchise to Holden Motors in September 2011.

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Residents in the area were consulted on the plans, and Mr Dacre said: 'The trustees of the Lind Trust are delighted with the way the proposals have come together. Feedback from the consultations within the comm-unity has been most encouraging.

'The planning application is for a community resource with a church meeting room that can be more widely used as a community resource. Within the facility there will be space for all options. We hope it will become a community hub. Indeed, someone locally has suggested that it be called The Hub. We would be pleased to hear from local groups who may be looking for a new venue. Success will be as many people and groups as possible using the facilities.

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'Clearly the application has a long way to go yet. Hopefully in due course it will be approved; we shall see.'

The proposals include a multi-purpose community forum space, church auditorium, restaurant/café, games zone, day care centre, boxing gym, children's creche and motor museum.

They also include incidental lounges, meeting rooms and administration offices, and it's intended that the proposals will provide for all age groups.

The motor museum could be used to accommodate Mr Dacre's extensive collection of luxury vehicles.

What do you think? Write to The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 1RE or email

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