Homes to go on village hall site

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Plans have been approved to knock down Monks Eleigh Village Hall and develop the site into homes.

The village hall, which is said to be suffering from “concrete cancer”, will be replaced with four new homes after members of Babergh District Council’s planning committee approved the plans on Wednesday.

The scheme was originally granted planning permission in 2009, but lapsed when no work was started.

Councillors, who were keen to ensure the community benefit of a new village hall was achieved, decided that no financial conditions should be placed on the development.

A new hall is set to be built on recreation land the parish council owns on Church Hill, with planning permission already agreed.

The latest proposal is identical in design to the former plans, with the council noting that the development would “facilitate the provision of a replacement village hall”.

The plan originally served as an alternative to a scheme to have a joint-use community building on the site of the village primary school.

After a poor Ofsted report, which has seen the school emptied of staff and pupils, this had to be scrapped.

“The parish council is delighted that planing permission has now been granted,” said council clerk Vicky Waples.

“This should assist the village hall trust in its sale of the land for development and increase the prospect of developing a much-needed new village hall for Monks Eleigh after about 25 years of efforts by various villagers.

“The new hall will be a social hub for the whole community.”