Next week I’m leading a team of West Suffolk Council officers in meeting with Heritage England to discuss relocating the social club in Clare. It is a sensitive site as it sits very close to an ancient monument.
It is always sensible to try and understand the point of view of other organisations when seeking to deliver a project. Listening to what is important to Heritage England and seeking their advice early can help to shape thinking to produce an acceptable outcome for everyone.
We are hoping to be able to replace the existing social club with a new one, of the shape, colour and function that works for everyone and relocate it further back in the existing plot. This should free up land for 30-40 car parking spaces.
The existing social club provides a valuable service to the community. It supports the adjoining bowls club and is used for a number of community functions. But it is tired and near the end of its useful life. It would also benefit from disabled toilets and a kitchen.
We know that at peak times there are not enough car parking spaces in the center of Clare and that hurts the local economy.
We have finance, a viable plan and the will to make this work.
Let’s hope we can find a solution that allows this important improvement to go ahead.