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Bradfield village hall plans withdraw again

Trustees vow to press on as parish council takes its name off application

Newbury MP intervenes in Bradfield Village Hall row

RECENTLY submitted plans to build a new village hall in Bradfield have been withdrawn after the parish council insisted it be removed as a co-applicant.

The proposals in the name of the Bradfield Village Hall Trustees and Bradfield Parish Council sought permission to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new larger complex.

However, after the trustees submitted the planning application to West Berkshire Council in February, the parish council has said it no longer wishes to be named on the application.

Chairwoman of the Village Hall Trustees, Christine Evans, said a new application will be submitted in just the trustees’ name once the current application has been withdrawn.

She added: “It’s very frustrating.

“At a meeting of the hall management committee with the parish council in July 2014, they agreed to be joint applicants and at no point later did they retract this agreement.”

The council says it wants to remain impartial to the application in order to properly represent the views of Bradfield residents on the project.

The fresh application was submitted after initial plans were withdrawn last year following feedback form West Berkshire Council planners.

The trustees say this new setback will now cost the scheme a further £4,600 in order to resubmit a fresh application.

However, Mrs Evans added: “The trustees remain committed to this project and are confident in the knowledge that there is considerable support from many locals and regular users of the hall and site.

“We need these improvements to ensure the future of the hall as a vibrant centre for all the community.”

The new hall will span an area more than double that of the existing one, while also offering a new multi-use games area (MUGA) and relocating the existing playground.

A separate, but linked, application has also been submitted to build four semi-detached homes on the site.

The plans have, however, proved controversial, with some residents claiming the new hall would be too big and too expensive.

Opposition group Bradfield Planning Application Group (BPAG) has been working on alternative proposals in the hope of convincing the trustees to reconsider the plans.

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