Community centre work delayed for second time

Rose Hill Councillor Ed Turner

Rose Hill Councillor Ed Turner

First published in Oxford Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

PLANS for a new community centre in Rose Hill have been delayed for a second time after the tenders for the project came in “substantially over budget.”

Work was due to start this month after revised designs for the centre were announced in February and the council allocated £4.3 million for the project.

The revised plans were a response to suggestions made by residents who viewed the plans at an exhibition last year and put forward changes which meant construction could not start in January as had been planned.

Now plans are being altered again to ensure the project remains under budget.

Rose Hill Councillor Ed Turner said he is still confident the centre planned for Ashhurst Way will be open next year.

He said: “We are disappointed the project has had to be delayed due to the tenders coming in substantially over budget but I think the delay will only be a couple of months. I’m still confident work will begin soon and it won’t be long from when work starts to the centre opening towards the end of 2015.”

The current centre at The Oval will remain open until completion of the work.

Fran Gardner, who works at the current centre, said she was disappointed by the delay but remained optimistic.

She said: “All the great work we do at the existing centre will continue in the meantime and we will keep providing for the community in Rose Hill.

“Our work doesn’t stop just because work on the new centre has stopped and we’re still really looking forward to moving into it next year. It means an awful lot to people in Rose Hill to have a community centre and the new one will be even more beneficial.”

The new centre has been designed to bring together several existing services under one roof and will house a new doctor’s surgery, a community gym, a kitchen and a new police office.

The existing sports pavilion will be demolished and new facilities, which meet the standards required by Sport England and the Football Association, will be provided in the new centre.

Last month, Oxford City Council said it was attempting to add in further low carbon options and will include more solar panels and low energy lighting in the final plans but declined to comment on how much the tenders were over budget by.

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