20th Aug, 2019

Plans for long-awaited Dickens Heath youth centre set for planning approval

Felix Nobes 13th May, 2019

PLANS for a long-awaited youth centre in Dickens Heath are set for planning approval.

At a time when more UK youth clubs are being closed than opened, councillors have hailed the plans as a ‘vital’ part of the future of the quiet Solihull village.

After more than a decade of discussions, a council officer’s report to be heard on Wednesday’s (May 15) planning committee meeting recommends the plans for approval.

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.

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

The planning officer’s report states: “The proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the amenities of the adjacent neighbours and would not have an undue effect upon the character of the surrounding area or nearby trees.”

The report states the plan has been endorsed due to its positive effects on public health and its high quality design.

However more regrettable aspects include the noise impact on neighbouring homes.

St Alphege councillor and cabinet member for leisure, tourism and sport, Joe Tildesley, commissioned an assessment of the club’s potential usage, the running costs and a ‘governance’ plan for the council’s consideration.

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

The funding would come from a Section 106 agreement – and 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 would also be asked to run the club.

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