Cranfield’s new Community Centre has still to be handed over to the Parish Council
In August, the Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) Executive voted to hand over control of the Cranfield Community Centre to the village parish council.
As the building and grounds are far from finished, it could be months before the parish council finally takes control of the Centre.
It is being built by Persimmon as part of an agreement, called a Section 106 (s106), set up when planning for Home Farm was approved. A s106 is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission and the local planning authority.
Examples of recent s106 agreements in Cranfield include payments to schools, the allotments in Cranfield Park and funds to improve bus services.
Former county council felt that expanding population needed a community facility
Bedfordshire County Council added the Community Centre to Home Farm development negotiations around 12 years ago.
The former council did not consult with Cranfield residents to offer a choice of facilities as it felt that the expanding population needed a modern community facility.
No extra costs forecast for Cranfield residents
As part of the agreement, the parish council will be responsible the Centre’s future liabilities. However, this should not mean that Cranfield residents will see an increase to their council tax bills to pay for this.
A parish council spokesperson said:
“The Parish Council is not expecting there to be any additional cost on residents Council Tax bills as it is anticipated that the Community Centre will be self-sustaining.
“The Parish Council have already had a good number of approaches from residents who wish to book the hall for various events, suggesting that there is considerable demand for community space in Cranfield.”
Once open, the building will provide the village with a function hall, a meeting room, a fully equipped kitchen and a bar area.
There will also be changing rooms, football pitches, a cricket square and a carpark.
Interest in hiring the facilities is building
North Crawley Cricket Club has enquired about using the cricket square. Those looking for a party venue and some activity groups have enquired about hiring the hall.
An opening date has not been set yet, but it is expected to open in Spring 2019.
If you are interested in hiring out the centre you should contact the Parish Council.