End of era at Millwey

PUBLISHED: 10:54 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 15 June 2010

THE days of an Axminster community centre could be numbered as its future is discussed this week. The Weycroft Senior Citizens Centre, in Millwey Rise, is in need of work to bring it up to health and safety standards and to comply with the Disability Disability Discrimination Act.

THE days of an Axminster community centre could be numbered as its future is discussed this week.

The Weycroft Senior Citizens' Centre, in Millwey Rise, is in need of work to bring it up to health and safety standards and to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Among the options to be considered by East Devon District Council's housing review board are to renovate the existing hall to a higher standard, knock down the building and replace it on the same site or one nearby or knocking it down to allow access to allotment land behind which would open the way for further development.

The option to do nothing is considered by officers to be unacceptable and demolition of the building, with the disposal of the site is, not expected to be acceptable to the housing board.

The building is owned by EDDC but its day-to-day running is administered by the Weycroft Senior Citizens' Club but this is now struggling for members and, according to a report to go before the housing board, is no longer viable as a management committee.

The reason for the discussion is for the board to give officers an indication of how they see the future of the hall.

In an assessment of the building's condition, it said the toilets were not suitable for disabled users, the kitchen is in poor condition and the window frames were in poor decorative order.

To fully assess the state of the building, the report said: "It would be necessary to carry out a 'destructive' survey. The minimum likely cost for this would be £250 per day."

It suggests a new community centre could cost in the region of £190,000 to build and various sites at Millwey Rise are highlighted.

It also makes it clear that consultation with both residents and Axminster Town Council would be essential to any proposals.

Councillor Douglas Hull, who is on the housing review board and is a member for Axminster, said: "This is long overdue. Millwey Rise needs a new hall and two groups have raised money which amounts to some thousands.

"There are a lot of young people who live out there so it should not just be an old people's centre. It is an old hall that is past its sell-by date.

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