New Kettering community centre plans approved

The new community centre has permission to open seven days a week.
The new community centre has permission to open seven days a week.

A long-running campaign to turn a disused school hall on a derelict site into a new community centre for Kettering is almost there.

Permission for a change of use was granted by Kettering Council on Tuesday (March 12) night to turn the freestanding sports hall that was once part of Maplefields School into a new community base for residents of the Brambleside and All Saints area.

The site off Beatrice Road has been out of use since 2012 when the school relocated to Corby. Almost three years ago a planning application for 18 homes on the site was approved, although work has not as yet started.

The site is owned by Northamptonshire County Council which says it is in final discussions about agreeing the sale of the site. Planning permission can be granted to an applicant on a site they do not yet own.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Ash Davies, who is a member of the Maplefields Community Centre Association, which was set up in 2014, said the association ‘would like to acknowledge the help from Northamptonshire County Council to bring this together’.

He said the centre would be open to all members of the community and there has already been interest from groups who may like to use it for their club.

There is also the possibility that it could be used as a drop-in base for Kettering police teams.

The centre will have separate male and female changing rooms, a reception area and a large main hall.

There will be 16 parking spaces, plus five disabled spaces and bike and motorbike space.

The planning permission permits the centre to open from 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturdays and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

The application was unanimously approved by councillors.