Centre application put on hold

Suitability of proposed site new stumbling block for Honiton Town Council.

The future of the designated site for a proposed community centre in Honiton is far from set in stone after the town council deemed the earmarked land unsuitable.

A planning application for the �2m development is now on hold.

The matter, which was raised during an extraordinary meeting of the council on Monday night, will be discussed by East Devon District Council when its cabinet meets on September 6.

The town council is hoping the district authority, which has offered the land for the project, will offer to carry out works to make the site suitable for development.

Councillor Nick Cornwell said: “We have not got anything definitive and East Devon District Council is going to consider our case at a cabinet meeting as an urgent item.

“The district council recognises we are in difficulty to find another �140,000. The leader of the district council has taken this on and we should get a decision.”

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At a meeting earlier this month, councillors raised concerns over the suitability of the Dowell Street site after a report highlighted a number of problems, some of which would incur extra costs to resolve.

Councillor Mike Allen suggested looking into other options, such as the recently closed Royal British Legion Club.

He said: “I think it is time to consider some of these alternatives so we don’t lose them and at least explore these options to see where the land lies.”

Mayor Vernon Whitlock said that the council would not know what is happening with the Royal British Legion Club until the local branch made a decision on its future, which is expected next month.

It was resolved that the town council will look further into these options and discuss plans for the community centre at a meeting in October, which will include any decisions made by EDDC.