Plans for security fence at Wellingborough community centre deferred for further talks

Glamis Hall in Wellingborough
Glamis Hall in Wellingborough

Plans to put a security fence around a community hall have been deferred to allow for further discussions on whether it’s needed and its impact on the local area.

Having taken over the running of Glamis Hall in January, the Glamis Hall for All group has been looking at ways to improve the building and they were hoping a new boundary fence would help protect the building from anti-social behaviour and provide dedicated parking areas for centre users.

Because we are a community centre, the last thing we want to do is upset the community

Gary Saunders

If approved, it would be an open meshed security fence of 2.4m high and have several gated access points for pedestrians and two vehicle access points.

Addressing Wellingborough Council’s planning committee at a meeting on Wednesday, applicant Gary Saunders said: “The proposal came about when we had a discussion on what we could do to improve the building because it is an eyesore.

“We think this is the least obtrusive way to do it.”

But concerns had been raised by some residents living nearby.

Mr Saunders added: “I do see what people are getting at, they don’t want a big angry fence to look at, but there will be some planting that goes in at a later date.”

The planning officer’s recommendation was to approve it, but the committee was divided.

Cllr Graham Lawman said: “The building has been there since the 1970s without a fence.”

Cllr Andrew Scarborough said: “I have considerable sympathy for the Glamis Hall people because it is undoubtedly true that the building is in a poor state, it has rusty barbed wire to stop people climbing on the roof.”

But he said he could also understand why some residents did not want a fence around it.

Mr Saunders said: “The building is hideous, we would like to remove the barbed wire off the roof.

“We get quite a lot of anti-social behaviour around the building so we hope this will stop that.”

But he added: “We are happy to have discussions with the community.

“Because we are a community centre, the last thing we want to do is upset the community.”

Cllr Tim Maguire said: “It’s part of life that we have to secure buildings.

“I don’t remember anyone objecting when we did it to all our schools.”

But Cllr Martin Griffiths said: “I really don’t think its fair on the residents.”

Cllr Paul Bell said: “When the hall was transferred, it was transferred to the community.

“It’s a community hub, it’s run by Glamis Hall for All and we gave it to them to run and they are doing a fabulous job.

“They want to put a fence round - it may not be perfect but they will landscape it.”
Some committee members were happy to go with the recommendation to approve it, but others said they would vote against it.

It was then proposed that the matter be deferred to allow for discussions with the police and further discussions with residents.

The proposed deferral was approved and the plan will be considered by the committee again when further discussions have taken place.