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Old village hall to be demolished to make way for housing

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:46 13 December 2017

A shot taken from a drone of the official opening of the Gissing Community Building. Picture: BLUESKY UAV SPECIALISTS

A shot taken from a drone of the official opening of the Gissing Community Building. Picture: BLUESKY UAV SPECIALISTS

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A former village hall is to be torn down to make way for new housing after the creation of a new state-of-the-art community building made the need for the historic building redundant.

Members of the Heart of Gissing charity during construction of the new building. From left, Howard Dyke, Rose Eddington, Anne Reynolds and David Eddington. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Members of the Heart of Gissing charity during construction of the new building. From left, Howard Dyke, Rose Eddington, Anne Reynolds and David Eddington. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Gissing, near Diss, this year welcomed the opening of the new Gissing Community Building, with former FA chairman and BBC director general Greg Dyke among the guests who helped to unveil it.

The facility, which received a £711,365 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, was designed to replace the old Gissing Village Hall - a wooden building on a brick upstand dating back to 1906, which was in need of major work if it was to survive.

As a result Gissing Parish Council applied to pull the structure down, arguing: “Overall the hall is in need of major refurbishment if it is to be maintained in the long term.”

It was suggested the land be used for residential purposes, with South Norfolk Council (SNC) approving a plan to create a new three-bedroom house and double garage on the site.

“A new community building has been erected in the village which is fit for purpose and has better facilities and access for all, using Lottery funding,” the parish council said during a public consultation on the plans.

“The village hall requires extensive funds to improve the building facility but has limited use and parking.”

However SNC attached conditions to the new development, such as submitting details of hard and soft landscaping works, details of sewage disposal and a tree protection plan.

It must also be built to achieve a water consumption rate of no more than 105 litres per person per day.

Among the new facilities provided in the new Gissing Community Building next to the The Old School is a multi-purpose function room and a cafe designed to be a welcoming social hub.

The Heart of Gissing charity raised the funds needed for the new premises.

Villagers are also hoping to create a new play area at Gissing Children’s Centre for daily pre-school activities, holiday play schemes and outdoor adventure evenings.

It is also hoped the new area at Gissing Children’s Centre will have areas for relaxation amongst wooden planters and seating, a covered sand play area, a ‘Hobbit’ house, a mud kitchen, a digging area and extensive water play features.

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