A first look at planned £1m com­mu­nity cen­tre

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Vicky Cas­tle

Artist’s im­pres­sions have been re­leased to show the £1 mil­lion com­mu­nity cen­tre due to be built in Rep­ton Park.

Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil (ABC) sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the for­mer bar­racks site in Tem­pler Way last year to build a ‘multi-pur­pose com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity.’

Rep­ton Con­nect will be built with Sec­tion 106 fund­ing that was granted as re­sult of build­ing the nearby hous­ing de­vel­op­ment.

The cen­tre will in­clude a mul­tiuse games area and will be able to host clubs, education cour­ses, cook­ing work­shops and so­cial events.

The ap­pli­ca­tion also states plans for one large and one small foot­ball pitch, which may also be used by the neigh­bour­ing Rep­ton Pri­mary School.

Ex­actly what will go in­side the build­ing will be de­ter­mined by the needs of the com­mu­nity, but the ap­pli­ca­tion sug­gests a health and fit­ness club, li­censed bar and crèche could all be pos­si­ble.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “Cen­tral to cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity hub it is in­tended that the fa­cil­ity will be a safe place for peo­ple to meet, so­cialise and play.

“We are lead­ing the pro­ject as part of our com­mit­ment to im­prove com­mu­nity and youth fa­cil­i­ties across the bor­ough work­ing along­side the Rep­ton Stake­holder Group.

“The group has been in ex­is­tence for ap­prox­i­mately two years and was brought to­gether to help de­velop the de­sign of the build­ing, and de­cide the best way to in­volve the com­mu­nity and the com­mu­nity of­fer which will op­er­ate from the cen­tre and in the lead up to it.

“We aim to re­flect past, present and fu­ture and the di­ver­sity of the com­mu­nity into the de­sign of the cen­tre.

“Out­side, we will look to keep many of the sur­round­ing trees and de­velop a play trail across the site.

“In ad­di­tion, nearby sig­nage will have a nat­u­ral ap­pear­ance so it will sit el­e­gantly within the en­vi­ron­ment.”

How­ever, the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion states that the de­sign aims to be use­ful or prac­ti­cal rather than at­trac­tive, brand­ing it ‘util­i­tar­ian.’

It states: “Ideally, it would have in­cor­po­rated greater de­sign in­no­va­tion, par­tic­u­larly in terms of fa­cade treat­ment. How­ever, I ap­pre­ci­ate that there are bud­getary con­straints.”

To see the plans visit plan­ning. ash­ford.gov.uk and search ap­pli­ca­tion 15/01345/AS.

Above and below, im­pres­sions of Rep­ton Con­nect com­mu­nity cen­tre

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