Haverhill buildings already meeting Vision aspiration

The Burton Centre in Haverhill
The Burton Centre in Haverhill

Civic buildings in Haverhill already are being used for a plethora of purposes, one of the borough council’s stated aims for the future of the town, an inquiry heard.

The public inquiry into St Edmundsbury Council’s Vision 2031 documents which detail how Haverhill should develop over the next 20 years, held at Haverhill Leisure Centre last Wednesday (February 5), heard how the borough council aspires to seeing council buildings such as libraries, schools and town halls used to a variety of community reasons.

However, town clerk Will Austin said: “This is what happens at the moment.”

He stated that it would help if such building were listed as assets of community value under the Localism Act to prevent them from undergoing change of use – such as the Burton Centre becoming a St Nicholas Hospice Care outreach centre after Suffolk Councyt Council chose the charity over the town council’s bid to turn it into a youth centre.

When inspector Roger Clews asked if Mr Austin’s idea was borne of experience, he said no, but he wanted to retain community use of such buildings.

“Schools are an obvious example of a community building that could be used in the evenings,” he said.

Chris Rand from the borough council said: “We are looking at provision of new facilities so that new schools could be used as multi-use buildings rather than just a school during the day and standing empty at night.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 13) Echo.