February start date set for long-awaited community centre at Queen’s Hills after �100,000 award

Families who have waited years for a new community centre at Costessey will get the 'building they deserve' thanks to a �100,000 grant.

As reported in Thursday's Evening News, Costessey Parish Council was one of the groups awarded money from Norfolk County Council's community construction fund.

The parish council's clerk, Hilary Elias, said they were 'delighted' at getting the money for the centre at Queen's Hills.

'Without it, the centre would have still gone ahead in some form but it means we can really deliver a quality building,' she said. 'It makes a really big difference. We can now deliver the building we wanted to and we don't have to cut costs.'

All of the �100,000 will go towards the construction costs of the centre and a contractor has been chosen, with a deal expected to be signed in January.

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The centre will cost just over �1m to build, with work set to start in February.

Mrs Elias said they hoped to have it built by mid-October 2013.

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Trees have already been cleared from the site off Poethlyn Drive and the planning application has been approved.

Vivienne Bell, chairman of the parish council, said: 'Queen's Hills is a growing community and they deserve a tip-top building and this is what they will get. It is the icing on the cake for us.'

The building of the community centre was delayed after the housing estate's lead developers, Cofton, went into administration in 2009.

Progress was further hampered because the land is still owned by the consortium of developers which is yet to hand the plot over to the parish council, as documents have been held up with the Land Registry office.

To get around the delay, the parish council will sign a contract with the developers to guarantee that the land will be transferred to them, allowing work to start beforehand.

The parish council's bid for the slice of the �3.5m fund was sponsored by Norfolk county councillor for Costessey Tim East.

He said Queen's Hills would get the centre it deserved after the 'prevarications, privations and delays' which have been ongoing since 2009.

The parish council is looking for a name for the new centre. Send your suggestions to info@costesseypc.org.

Do you have a story about Costessey? Contact Tom Bristow on 01603 772313 or email as above.

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