Smaller multipurpose hall built instead
When Cranfield’s Community Building was originally planned it was following Sport England requirements. This included a badminton hall. During the drawn-out planning process, the rules changed and a badminton court was now optional.
A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesperson said:
“Sport England had not sought the hall for sports provision in the first instance and the provision of a badminton court in community halls is historic.”
Parish Council research found that a badminton court wasn’t versatile enough, and that it wouldn’t be cost effective to run.
The local decision to redesign the hall was taken to ensure the facility responded to local needs and the low demand for badminton facilities.
A Cranfield Parish Council spokesperson said:
“Having a badminton hall with a high roof had a number of disadvantages, it would be more difficult to heat, there were no windows except at roof height and the sound echoed.”
The developers, Persimmon, designed something that was felt to be more suitable for the village’s needs.
“The gain for Cranfield is that as a result of the redesign we are getting a building which is much more versatile, attractive and useable with several meeting rooms of different sizes and much enhanced Sport England standard changing facilities.”
A gain from the delays is the junior football playing pitch. It is the result of redirected education funds freed-up after the new school was built in Braeburn Way. The Cranfield Parish Council spokesperson said:
“Persimmon could have retained this piece of land, but instead they have given it to the Parish.”
The hall will hold somewhere between 150 and 180 people, subject to confirmation by the fire officer.
There will be an opening event once the building has been transferred to the Parish Council.