The Pinewood Community Hall was built in 2008 and has been very well used and supported since it opened its doors in April 2009. When the hall was built and to enable the hall to be built within budget, the parking area serving both the Community Hall and the Shepherd Drive Baptist Church was laid to stones, with thought to upgrading it a few years down the line if needed.
The parking area has struggled with drainage issues and when it rains can flood a considerable amount of the parking area, which some days are at a premium. The flooding has also created holes in the surface making it unsafe for pedestrians and particularly those with mobility problems.
A costly repair two years ago has not lasted but has shown that until the drainage is rectified it will just be an ongoing costly exercise to ensure the area is safe to use.
A survey has therefore been carried out and identified the works to rectify the problems. Drainage needs to be installed with a link to the main sewer and a tarmac surface laid to make the area more usable and provide easier access for the users of both facilities. Lining of the bays will also enable maximum capacity is achieved.
Funding for the project has been discussed in depth over the past few months at parish council and committee meetings. Tenders for the project have been sought and it is hoped to embark on this project in the coming weeks whilst both facilities are closed due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
Following a successful bid for funding from the Babergh District Council Capital Grant Aid Scheme we are pleased to have managed to obtain a grant of £25,000 for the project. The Community Hall has been saving towards this project since it opened and has offered to put £96,622 into the project making a total of £121,622. With project costs of £171,622 this leaves £50,000 needed to complete the project.
The parish council resolved at its meeting held on 8 February 2021 to seek the approval of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government to apply for a PWLB loan of £50,000 over a borrowing term of 35 years for the purpose of completing the funding for a new drainage system and car park with a tarmac surface on the land at Laburnum Close that is used by the Pinewood Community Hall and the Shepherd Drive Baptist Church for parking. The annual loan repayments will come to around £1915. It is not intended to increase the council tax precept for the purpose of the loan repayments which will be funded by the Pinewood Community Hall from its income/reserves.
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