Town council set to press ahead with proposal for new community centre in Huntingdon

Concept drawing for a new community centre in Huntingdon

Concept drawing for a new community centre in Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Plans to build a new community centre in a public park in Huntingdon have taken a step forward.

At a meeting held on July 6, members of Huntingdon Town Council were shown a concept drawing of the proposed new hub, which could be built on Coneygear Park and replace the ageing Medway Centre.

The authority began discussions to replace the Medway, which requires £800,000 of repair work to be carried out, in March last year.

At a meeting of the leisure and community services committee, Philip Peacock, town clerk, said: “The type and style of building that we are looking at is a pre-fabricated, highly insulated, environmentally-friendly building. The idea is that the build cost is much cheaper and the construction time is much shorter. Not only does it keep the heat in but it keeps the noise out.”

According to Mr Peacock, the proposed building will take up just eight per cent of Coneygear Park, with a car park taking up a further five per cent.

“The new building, if it proceeds, does not encroach as far as the orchard area and it is inline with the boundary of Buttsgrove Way,” Mr Peacock added.

Despite a public meeting last year, which saw more than 100 residents of the Oxmoor and users of the Medway Centre air their fears, the council has carried out a feasibility study which has confirmed that the park is viable to build on.

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However, Councillor Susan Mulcahy questioned whether the land is strong enough, as she pointed out that there is a slope.

The funds to build the hub have been obtained following an exchange of land with Huntingdonshire District Council.

Under the agreement, the town authority has been given the land that the Medway Centre sits on and the district council has been handed the freehold of the One Leisure site in Huntingdon.

Following the swap, the town council has also been given £300,000 to improve council assets, with a further £800,000 given as a loan to be used for the development of a new community centre, if the decision is made to sell off the Medway.

Councillors will meet with the architects later this month where further plans will be discussed, before a public consultation in September.