A proposed community centre for the Frenchwood area of Preston has seen plans for it withdrawn.Advertisement
What was a shop at the corner of Boulevard and Carlton Drive was due to be converted into a facility for the area.
But queries raised by Preston City Council’s environmental health officers and Lancashire County Council’s highways department hinted at potential objections.
Objections were also received from a number of nearby residents and a stormy public meeting was held at Christ the King School in early December about the plans.
A Justgiving page had been set up for the project – to be called The Boulevard Community Centre – but this has now been taken offline.
At the time of the application being lodged a spokesman for the project said: “We aim to become a hub for the wider community by helping to enrich the people within it. Being a diverse and forward thinking group we wish to create community cohesion at all levels and various age groups amongst people from all faiths and backgrounds.
“This will be a fully fledged charity committed to educating both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities about the true Islamic message of peace and tolerance.”
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The community centre had the backing of city centre councillor Drew Gale and county councillor Yousuf Motala who had both written in support of the plans.
Letters on the city council website – where the application is now marked as ‘withdrawn’ – see community services officer at the county council Gurmal Kandola state: “The opening times stated on the application form are extensive and can be interpreted as being ambiguous and contrary to the pre planning advice stated in section 5 regarding the use of the centre. Further detailed information on the aforementioned matters are required in order to make a more informed highway decision.”
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Environmental health officer at the city council Louise Purdy recommended the application should be refused.
She said: “The noise attenuation afforded by the building structure is untested and, whilst I appreciate that the premises was once a retail shop/café, the use being applied for is somewhat different and far more intensive, especially when considering the possible range of activities and events that could be encompassed under the term “community-use”, the number of people that could use the premises at any one time and the varying noise level associated with different activities.
“The sound attenuating properties of a standard party wall are limited. Even with additional soundproofing applied to the building, low frequency noise and impact noise could still be transmitted through the structure into the adjoining property.
“The times of use applied for are also likely to compound the situation and result in disturbance to the neighbours with a 6am start and 11pm finish.
“Thereby due to the sensitive location of the premises, the lengthy hours of use applied for and the potential for local residents to suffer noise nuisance arising from the premises when in use this Department recommends refusal of the proposed development, as it would adversely affect the amenities of neighbouring occupiers.”
A spokesman for the Boulevard Community said: “Following consultations with local residents the feedback we received was there are sufficient community centre facilities in the area. Therefore we have decided to withdraw the planning application at this time.
“In the meantime we continue to work with local partners raising money for local causes throughout Preston. We are very excited about our new programme which we are currently developing supporting the homeless in Preston.”
What did you think about the Boulevard community centre plans? Let us know in the comments below