'Shaped by the people and for the people': Construction of new community centre and houses on estate in Bury St Edmunds to start in next two months
The construction of a new community centre and 79 homes on the Howard estate in Bury St Edmunds is set to begin in the next two months.
The centre is due to be finished by the end of next year when it will be handed over to the Newbury Community Association to manage.
The project comes after backing from all local councillors, Haverbury Housing Partnership, and a three-stage public consultation led by the NCA to ensure residents could have their say on the kind of events and activities the centre would be used for.
Barbara Bannister, chairperson of the NCA, said: "We are delighted that construction of our new community centre will soon get underway.
"This is a centre for all of the community and we hope that people of all ages will make use of this fantastic new facility."
Cllr Paul Hopfensperger has been involved in the project from the start as both a West Suffolk ward councillor and a representative of the NCA on the project board.
He said: "The community centre project has been shaped by the people and for the people.
"It has been a pleasure to work with so many people from the estate and like them, I look forward to 2021 when this brilliant new centre will open."
The NCA led the design process for the new centre, which is being built by Keepmoat Homes.
Keepmoat are also building 79 new homes on the estate, of which a third will be affordable.
The new centre and homes will be built where the existing Newbury Community Centre is and on land owned by the former school in a phased approach.
Cllr Nick Gowrley, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for housing, said the new housing and centre were a culmination of the council and the community association working together closely in recent years.
He said: "This is the culmination of close partnership working with West Suffolk Council and the Newbury Community Association over a number of years.
"This approach proves, once again, that when we bring communities and local councils together to plan new housing developments, more can be achieved for those communities.
"Not just in terms of the housing itself, but also in the provision of excellent new community facilities which will add real social value to the local area."