I was very happy to write in to the Council to support the planning application for the proposed Jetty Lane Centre ~ what an exciting facility it will be! But having done that I was then asked if I could explain my reasonings as to why I believed the plans should be approved. So, some thoughts from yours truly.
The Architects have proposed a stunning new modern design which will provide a much needed replacement for the old building that was demolished on the site, which resulted in the various established users needing to find temporary homes for their activities, storage of equipment and administrative support. It has been a challenging period which will be resolved if this plan is approved.
The new plans provide the space for these various needs to be accommodated back in one purpose-built building. The building design anticipates the need to support multiple use by a number of different clubs and youth activities, by providing both storage and flexible office accommodation. Most importantly the site already has an established use for this type of facility.
Whilst the new building is larger than the old, this reflects a growing need for a new centre in Woodbridge. It is however partially screened by well established trees and has the advantage of overlooking open spaces. Whilst the plans provide some on-site parking it is also sited adjacent to and overlooks public car parks.
The location is particularly ideal as the Centre is opposite the Kingston recreation ground which can be utilised for outdoor activities, especially in the Summer months. The Centre will to my mind soon become a valuable community asset.
But of course gaining planning permission is just one hurdle that needs to be overcome before aspiration can become a reality. The programme “steering committee” still needs support from across the community to raise the necessary finance to sustain the building programme. Fundraising and other financial endorsements are building up a momentum but I guess we will expect many more fundraising events in the year ahead. Busy, but hopefully fun, even for the organisers !
But what a worthwhile cause ~ to re-establish a facility which is primarily for the community of Woodbridge. An opportunity not to be missed!