Extension wins approval

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A “DISTINCTIVE” £500,000 leisure centre extension that will house a children’s soft play area has been approved.

The plans for the development at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Station Road, Sudbury, were given the backing of a Babergh District Council planning committee yesterday.

Under the proposals, an under-eights play area will be created catering for up to 70 children.

The 150 square metre extension will also include a revamped reception area with timber cladding, a pitched roof and coloured glass windows, allowing a view of the play equipment inside.

In a report to the committee recommending the application’s approval, Babergh District Council case officer Elizabeth Truscott outlined the points of a design and access statement accompanying the application.

“It states that the proposed soft play facility is a new and commercially free standing venture that needs to establish its own identity and therefore has been designed to have a distinctive form,” she said.

Tracey Copping, chief executive of South Suffolk Leisure, which runs the centre on land owned by the council, said that £500,000 had been set aside for the work and a further £100,000 had been pledged to the project by the council using section 106 monies.

She said the play area would ensure the leisure centre remained a valuable asset to the community.

It is expected work on the extension will begin within the next few months with a target of opening the facility early next year.