Former Red Cross building will be new community centre for St Neots
- Credit: ARCHANT
People living close to St Neots town centre are to get a "modest" community facility of their own after the town council was given the go-ahead by HDC to convert the former British Red Cross building.
The building, in Cemetery Road, will be the smallest in the town council's portfolio and is designed to provide a community centre in an area which was not well served at present.
There had been objections to the change from residents concerned about traffic, maintenance of the building and the impact the change would have on the area.
But planners at the district council concluded that the change would not have an adverse effect, saying: "The building’s location is discreet and has been located on the land for in excess of 25 years, as such it is considered the proposed scheme will unlikely impact the character of the surrounding area."
They said: "The building has previously been used for community activities by both the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance and the proposed use will continue to provide a building for community activities in this part of the St. Neots township.
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"The site is located within the built-up area of St. Neots and has previously been used for community activities as proposed within this current application, it is considered that the proposed scheme can be supported in principle under policy LP7 of Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036."
The small size of the building meant it was unlikely to be used by organisations which put on noisy events at night and was expected to be used for events such as children's birthday parties.
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The hall was originally owned by the town council before it was sold to the Red Cross but has since been bought back by the town council.
The town council said: "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.
" 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."