Council to build multi-purpose youth club in Dickens Heath - The Solihull Observer

Council to build multi-purpose youth club in Dickens Heath

Solihull Editorial 20th Nov, 2018   0

THE council is set to build a multi-purpose youth club in Dickens Heath.

After more than a decade of discussions, plans for a new community building – primarily for teenagers between 13 and 17 – are set to go before planners in the near future.

Solihull council is seeking to address a lack of ‘suitable and safe’ youth provision in the area with the £300,000 scheme.

The proposed single-storey facility would be based in the grounds of Dickens Heath Community Primary School.

It aims to connect the school’s existing community farm and multi-use games area as well as the main car park.

And it would also be available for the public, with the school situated in the centre of the village.

The council has for years struggled to identify a suitable site, with a lack of available land scuppering attempts.

Cabinet member for leisure, tourism and sport, councillor Joe Tildesley, last week recommended the council proceeds with a planning application.

He also gave the go-ahead for an assessment of the club’s potential usage, the running costs and a ‘governance’ plan for the council’s consideration.

Coun Tildsley said: “I think it’s a really exciting project and I am absolutely delighted the money is being used in this way.

“It’s a very large sum of money so we should have an absolutely tip-top facility, that is great not only for the youth but also for the rest of the community. It is absolutely going to be an all-singing, all-dancing facility.

“It really can provide multi-functional use and as time goes on we hope the whole of the community will start to use it.

“But it will need volunteers to come forward and make this an absolutely vital part of the future of Dickens Heath.”

The project would be funded by section 106 contributions from developers, which the council has been accumulating since 2004.

A Section 106 is an agreement between a council and a developer to mitigate the damages caused by a development.

The section 106 money would go to constructing the building itself. Volunteers and staff from the school and the Scouts could also be asked to run the club.

Coun Tildesley said years of delays had enabled a more ambitious scheme rather than the conventional skate park and playground which was originally suggested.

He referred to the consultation which was undertaken by the council in which 90 per cent of the 112 people – mostly youngsters – questioned said they support the latest proposals.

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