The waiting is over and work can get started on community centre

Tim East

Tim East - Credit: Archant

The long wait for a new community centre at the Queen's Hills estate, in Costessey, near Norwich, is finally over.

Costessey Parish Council announced yesterday that, after eight months of negotiations, the licences to build and occupy the new community centre have been signed and that work can now 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 consortium of developers and the parish council could not start the building process until the details had been tied up.

Costessey parish clerk Hilary Elias said: 'We are really excited that we can at last start the construction phase.

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'This is great news for the growing community at Queen's Hills and will increase the community spirit of the residents. Costessey Parish Council has a good record in delivering quality facilities for its community and we believe this building will provide a focal point and much needed venue for our residents, especially those on Queen's Hills.'

Funding has come from a S106 agreement, a £100,000 grant from the Norfolk community construction fund, a £15,000 grant from South Norfolk's neighbourhood fund, with the balance being provided by the parish council from the Parish Rooms and the Youth Centre.

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The architect for the building is Vincent & Gorbing, who designed the award-winning Costessey Centre in Longwater Lane, and the main contractor is John Youngs.

County, district and parish councillor Tim East said: 'I am really pleased for the residents at Queen's Hills that after all the prevarications and procrastinations they have endured, we are finally able to proceed with the construction of the new community facility there. It will provide an excellent centre of activity for the locality. This type of provision has been sorely lacking over the past four years.'

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

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