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Community centre £1m project in Chester abandoned

A LONG-STANDING project to deliver a £1m community centre in a Chester suburb has been scrapped.

A LONG-STANDING project to deliver a £1m community centre in a Chester suburb has been scrapped.

Upton parish councillor John Butler is appalled at the decision to abandon plans to create the centre on the site of the Pavilion, in Wealstone Lane, Upton.

A vote at the parish meeting went 10 to four against proceeding with the scheme which had been on the agenda for more than five years.

The plan involved selling parish council-owned land for affordable housing at Marl Heyes which would have helped pay for a new building incorporating a library extension and facilities for the parish council, a youth club and cafe.

Chester and District Housing Trust and regeneration company Urban Hope have been involved with developing the project.

Cllr Butler said: “I am appalled. Here was an opportunity for several partners to work together on a quality project in Upton supported by 84% of the population. Economically it was viable – the chips stacked up.

Cllr Butler said the pavilion, which opened in 1973, would need to be replaced in the near future but without the land sale the financial burden on the parish council would be ‘a lot more’.

Cllr Jack Doyle, who voted against proceeding with the scheme, argues the existing pavilion could be revamped for less money using volunteers.

He said: “The building is old, yes, but with a little bit of paint and some effort it would look a lot better instead of spending taxpayers’ money on a completely new project.”

Cllr Doyle, who at 19 is one of the younger members of the council, has been offended by claims he has ‘let down’ Upton’s youth by opposing the land sell-off.

He said: “Once you get rid of green space you can’t get it back.”

 

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