CAMPAIGNERS are urging planning bosses to save the ‘much-loved’ Coopers Hill Community Centre.

Proposals to regenerate Coopers Hill, Market Street and Jubilee Gardens as part of £300 million worth of town centre investment were laid bare in May.

Bracknell News:

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The plans would include building more than 700 homes in the town centre, with the community centre making way to fund the new £750,000 youth centre in Braccan Walk.

Bracknell News:

But neighbours are desperate to save the hub as they say it is “perfect” for those with no cars, older people and the disabled.

Campaigner Terry Pearce told the News: “Coopers Hill Centre is a much used and loved community facility, mainly used by small local community groups.

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“We think the needs of local people are more important than the needs of the developer - assets lost like Coopers Hill cannot be replaced and we think it is time to make a stand.

“Let us show the council that we care about our community assets and will fight to save them.”

Bracknell News:

The Save Coopers Hill Youth and Community Centre group held a public meeting last week to launch the campaign and the cause already has a range of supporters, including Bracknell National Pensioners Convention and Bracknell UNITE Union.

Bracknell News:

A petition has also been set up by the group with further activities planned to lobby Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) to scrap the plans.

Bracknell News:

BFC bosses say the centre needs at least £1 million of investment to bring it up to a “usable standard”, following a survey by independent inspectors.

According to the council, the centre costs £62,000 to run but generates £52,000 in income per year.

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A BFC spokesperson said: “Given the building’s age and condition, it would be difficult to make additional modifications to make it fully accessible across all levels – which is something the council aspires to for all its buildings to ensure equality standards are met.”

Bracknell News:

Drop-in sessions are set to be held for community centre users next month to give them more information about the plans for the site.

Cllr Peter Heydon added: “As part of the project we are continuing to speak to users of Coopers Hill community centre and help them find new suitable and accessible homes."

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The centre is planned to remain available for public use until 2021.