FRESH plans to build a community centre in Towcester with a 260-280 seat auditorium have been given the thumbs up by planners.
This month South Northants Council’s development control committee gave its go ahead for The Tove Valley Baptist Fellowship community centre on a two acre site near the Shires State off Northampton Road.
Plans for a community centre had been approved for the site many years ago, but after publication of the Towcester Masterplan the TVBF revamped their proposals. As well as hosting the TVBF services the auditorium will be equipped with staging, lighting, and sound systems and wouldalso offer play group facilities, meeting rooms, and a cafeteria.
In a statement supporting its planning application the TVBF said: “It is hoped that the proposed church building can
assist with becoming a bridge to unite the Shires with the rest of the town, and also provide somewhere for activities for teenagers. In the present severe financial climate, many organisations are having to cut back on services. Some have closed, and more will close, as grant-aid has to be cut. The church will continue to serve the town unconditionally as a community anchor in whatever way seems appropriate, and will be more able to do so with a new, purpose built building.”
Planners received three letters of objection and a petition signed by 40 nearby residents. They said the centre was too large and did not included enough parking spaces. But planning officers said the plan complied with the council formula for calculating the number of parking spaces and that it would serve the whole town.