Granted: planning permission for six homes in place of community centre

A lot of people are angry at the closure of the New Mill Social Centre in Tring
A lot of people are angry at the closure of the New Mill Social Centre in Tring
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A resolution could finally have been found to the long-running battle between people who used a community centre and those who want to build homes in its place.

Dacorum Borough Council’s development control committee heard tonight that owner Tring Team Parish has set aside £30,000 towards the replacement of the New Mill Social Centre.

Parish leaders want to knock it down and build six homes in its place – one of which would be used to house a chaplain for Tring School.

But the committee heard that there would now be an opportunity to construct a new community centre on adjoining parish-owned land that is now used as an ‘informal’ allotments site.

Social housing on the land could help entice a developer into providing extra cash for the facility and further funding could be gained from other sources, councillors heard.

Tring councillor Nick Hollinghurst ‘welcomed’ the proposals – which come after a two-year row between the people who used the community centre, which closed in 2012, and Tring Team Parish.

But chairman of the Tring & District History & Museum Society Tim Amsden said the £30,000 could be ‘swallowed up’ straight away by a feasibility study about the plans.

He said: “Despite the efforts of the applicant and your own officers to prove otherwise, it has been demonstrated to you repeatedly that this is a valid community centre.

“It has stood there for 100 years, and this application would destroy that amenity.”

But the committee voted that planning permission for the new homes should be granted – subject to the £30,000 donation.