LONG-awaited plans to give an Oxford community centre a much-needed makeover have been scrapped in favour of a complete redevelopment - at double the price.

Oxford City Council has confirmed new £1million plans for Bullingdon Community Centre in Lye Valley, which have been welcomed by campaigners fighting for its future.

Next year the council hopes to bulldoze the old building to make way for a modern replacement, instead of an earlier £500,000 project to renovate the current building.

In January groups that use the centre in Peat Moors celebrated the council's decision to improve the building, stating it was 'practically falling down'.

READ AGAIN: Groups welcome plans to renovate Bullingdon Community Centre

But initial plans were thrown into doubt when the city council discovered a filled-in quarry buried beneath the building, which pushed project costs up and saw the council 'review its options' for the scheme.

Oxford Mail:

Bullingdon Community Centre. Pic: Ed Nix

In an announcement yesterday, city councillor Christine Simm said: "It’s unfortunate that the original project for partial rebuilding of the Bullingdon Community Centre ran into problems.

"We’ve now decided the best way forward is to start afresh with a brand new community centre, built on the same site.

"This will involve modern construction methods, which will bring down the construction, maintenance and running costs of the new building."

In August people who use the community hub said they felt they had been 'left out of the loop' since the initial project ran into issues.

Bullingdon Community Association, which is based at the centre, said it had lost thousands of pounds in lost bookings after being closed ahead of the renovation, only to reopen again when the plan was delayed.

READ AGAIN: Oxford community centre members added to project board

The council has now admitted there was a breakdown in communication and said it had 'learned lessons'.

It has been working with Bullingdon Community Association trustees and architects to develop the new plan, and work on a design.

Yesterday's statement from the council added that it would reimburse the community assocation for the 'loss of income suffered' when groups were moved out of the centre prior to the planned works. 

It said the £1million price tag would be considered at the council's annual budget meeting in February and, if approved, works would start later that year.

The council said the 'defective' building would be demolished and replaced with a 'brand new purpose-built facility, using off-site modular construction methods'.

Christine Simm, the council's executive board member for supporting local communities, admitted that 'not everything has gone as smoothly as we would have wished'.

The councillor added: "Communications could have been better - and we have learned lessons.

"However, what is undoubtedly the case is that partnership working is key to building stronger communities, and I’m pleased that representatives from the Bullingdon Community Association are part of the project board charged with making this new community centre a reality."

Richard Bryant, secretary of the Bullingdon Community Association, said: "The trustees and the groups who use the community centre are delighted with the news that a new community centre will be built on the existing site.

"The last two years have been very challenging and turbulent, and this positive development is due, in no small part, to the collective support we have received from local groups, residents and councillors.

"It has been a fine example of our community refusing to give up in the face of adversity."