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Village hall plan could cost £1.2m claim angry objectors

Local residents with parish councilior John Moore, centre, at the site of the proposed hall in School Lane
Local residents with parish councilior John Moore, centre, at the site of the proposed hall in School Lane

A rebel parish councillor believes plans for a new community centre in Herne and Broomfield could leave precept payers out of pocket for generations. Ukip supporter John Moore has opposed plans for a new hall in School Lane as he believes the cost could stretch to £1.2 million or more. He said:

“The parish council has got around £250,000 and most of that is earmarked funds for other projects. So it will be a big community centre that nobody wants. They will have to go round with their begging bowl to get funds. If the hail is successful then we will have all the extra traffic in Herne and School Lane for the local residents. If it isn’t successful then the people of Herne and Broomfield are going to be paying for a long, longtime.”

But Cllr Moore’s claims have been rejected by Cllr Carol Davis, who says the development is currently out to tender and could be more or less than the £1.2 million sum. She said:

Sketch of the proposed Community Centre
Sketch of the proposed Community Centre

“We are applying for various grants available to help with funding. We know it’s going to cost money, these things do, so I think John has been premature with these comments. Once the ball is up and running it will be self funding with hail hire to local groups. Our existing hall is also making a small profit. Some people can be very negalive without making a contribulion, which is a great pity. John has opposed the hail decision from the start. But it was a decision taken democratically. I sometimes disagree with decisions which are made, but I go with them because that is democracy.”

The new community hall was designed after a vote by local people, and was given planning permission by Canterbury City Council in September. It was opposed by residents nearby, who fear loud noise from functions, and increased traffic. But local groups spoke in favour of a new hail as a facility for people to use in the local community. Cllr Davis added:

Cllr Carol Davis
Cllr Carol Davis

“It will be an improvement on the existing hail, which has no disabled toilets and a really small kitchen. During the winter it is really cold, and during the summer it is too hot. it is not really up to modern standards.”

Herne Bay Gazette, November 20th 2014

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