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Consultation pledged on Clenchwarton pavilion plan amid anger over council meeting

Community leaders have pledged to consult residents on plans for a new village centre, amid an increasingly bitter row over how the project has been handled.

The dispute over the proposal in Clenchwarton has flared up after parish councillors voted to replace their chairman and vice-chairman at a recent AGM that critics say didn’t need to take place.

And they maintain that other options must be part of any future discussion.

Unrest in Clenchwarton (7806343)
Unrest in Clenchwarton (7806343)

Planning permission for a new community pavilion in Hall Road, providing changing facilities for teams using the village’s football pitches and community facilities, was granted three years ago and is due to expire this autumn.

Following discussions this week. Dick Moate, the newly-appointed chairman of the project committee, said plans for a consultation would be drawn up ahead of a further meeting on July 30.

An extract of the minutes from this week’s session, which was released yesterday, said: “The chairman wished to hold a meeting as soon as possible to discuss one item, which was to discuss the ways a village consultation could be achieved.

“The chairman will produce a draft plan for the consultation which will be distributed before the meeting as a starting point for the discussion.”

The move comes amid long-standing concerns among some residents about the potential costs.

A review compiled by Mr Moate, and published earlier this year, admitted public consultation on the scheme was “sketchy”.

One of the key points of opposition relates to the village’s Memorial Hall, which could be sold in order to raise funds for the project.

A group calling itself the Save The Memorial Hall group says it would prefer to see the existing buildings redeveloped.

Spokesman Gillian Piggott, said: “The option of the pavilion project, is just that – only one option.

“If the CCP are just going to press on with the same option and offer nothing else, the village will eventually be corralled into a situation where so much time has been spent on the project, there is no other choice other than to go ahead with it.

“This is no choice at all. This is not listening to the wider community.

“Residents should be able to consider other options along with the new pavilion project.”

The developments come after Mr Moate was elected as the new vice-chairman of the parish council at an AGM earlier this month, where Matthew Stannard was elected chairman.

They replaced Steve Bearshaw and Rob Lucas, who were seen by opponents of the pavilion project to be more supportive of their ideas. A recording loaded onto YouTube showed a majority of councillors voted to proceed, despite suggestions the meeting did not need to happen until next May.

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