Community centre bid for former St Neots Red Cross hall

St Neots Town Council has plans for the former Red Cross Centre

St Neots Town Council has plans for the former Red Cross Centre - Credit: Archant

A former Red Cross Hall in St Neots could be brought back into use as a community centre.

The hall, in Cemetery Road, has been reacquired by St Neots Town Council, its former owner, which wants the building to be granted permanent status as a community building.

It has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for permission to turn the sectional building into a community centre after it became surplus to requirements for the Red Cross.

The hall had previously only been given temporary permissions for use because the planning authority did not believe the materials used in its construction made it suitable for a permanent building.

But the town council, which has bought the hall back, is asking for it to be granted permanent permission, saying the building had been in place for 25 years and that it would be maintained as part of its property portfolio.

It said granting only temporary permissions for the use of the hall could no longer be justified.

The hall was originally owned by the town council, which sold it to the Red Cross, and it was also used by St John Ambulance.

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Documents submitted with the town council’s planning application said: “However, this is a building that has been in situ for some 25 years and it is a permanent feature in this part of St Neots.

“It has been a valuable community facility in an area at the southern end of the cemetery that has been used for community activities by both the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance.”

It said: “This building is now back in the ownership of the town council who will look after its running and maintenance alongside their portfolio of other public buildings and land.

“The associated garage is also back in the ownership of the town council and it is proposed to continue using this for storage associated with the main building.”

The application said that use as a community centre building meant a premises licence would be applied for, enabling the town council to use it for any licensable activities and that community use would not have an adverse impact on neighbours.