Refurbishment of Lewes community centre gets the go-ahead

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Proposals to refurbish and extend a community centre in Lewes have been unanimously approved by councillors.

The plans, to build a single-storey extension to the Malling Community Centre, were approved at a meeting of Lewes District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (October 31).

Before making a decision, the committee heard from representatives from the Malling Community Association and Lewes Town Council.

Town councillor Mike Chartier said: “The building dates from the early 1970s and it clearly met the needs of its community then. However we are now in 2018 not 1972.

“Life moves on, demands move on and clearly the building is rather sad at the moment.

“Our vision is to transform the building both internally and, to a lesser extent, externally to make it a family-friendly and age-friendly building that people want to go to.”

The committee also heard from Lewes Town Council clerk Steve Brigden, who urged the committee to remove a planning condition preventing an outside  seating area at the western end of the building from being used after 6pm.

Committee members agreed with Mr Brigden arguments and removed the condition before granting full planning for the works.

Before the vote, Jim Sheppard (Con. – Newick) said: “Mike [Chartier] is right, it is a very tired old building  and desperately in need of modification.

“I can’t see how a few tables outside after hours are going to cause any problems so think we should take it off completely.”

For further details search for application reference SDNP/18/03889/FUL on the South Downs National Park planning website.