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Scheme to bulldoze Coopers Hill for flats and a dedicated youth hub being explored

Published: 24 Jul 2014 17:301 comment

A COMMUNITY centre could be torn down and replaced with flats and a dedicated hub for young people.

Plans to create a new youth hub for Bracknell at the Coopers Hill Youth and Community Centre site are being explored by Bracknell Forest Council as part of a housing project being led by Thames Valley Housing.

Concerns have been raised about what will happen to a number of community groups who use the Crowthorne Road North facility for meetings in addition to the youth groups and two charities, Bracknell Forest Volunteer Car Drivers and Home-Start Bracknell Forest, based at the site.

Terry Pearce, from the Bracknell Forest National Pensioners Convention, said: “Many small local community groups are dependent on Coopers Hill for their meetings, it is both easily accessible to people who are dependent on buses as well as it being priced such that those groups with limited funds can afford it.

“Even if a new building emerges it will mean a long period of uncertainty and where will our groups go in the meantime?”

Cllr Dr Gareth Barnard, executive member for children, young people and learning, said: “We will be working with them [groups who use the facility] to make sure they are supported. We hope to be able to meet their needs whether that is staying or finding short or long-term new homes.

“This is very much in the early stages – we are still talking with centre users, planners, highways – but I hope to be to announce something more in the autumn.

“Young people have said they want to have a town centre location. It will be tremendously exciting if we can pull it off.”

There is a convenant on the site saying it must be for use by young people.

The overall costs of the planned project are not yet known, though the council hopes the majority of the costs will be met by Thames Valley Housing as part of ‘the land deal’.

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