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Countdown starts to new Rose Hill centre
THE timetable for Rose Hill’s new £3m community centre has been revealed for the first time.
Oxford City Council’s planning application for the building is due to be submitted in March – with the aim of getting approval by July.
If approved, construction will start in 2014 and the community centre – which will bring the social club, advice centre, sports pavilion and youth club together – will open in 2015.
Sean Qualter, chairman of Rose Hill Football Club, is hoping to set up more football teams for the estate once the new community centre has opened.
He said: “The sooner the better.
“I have already had somebody inquire about a kids football team so once they have finished it would be ideal.
“I am looking forward to a quick decision and a quick build.”
He added: “In 20 years’ time it will be a new generation using this building.”
Councillors decided to go ahead with a new centre in December after residents voted for it. A community poll saw 459 of the 585 voters opting for a new centre with 126 backing the second option, a revamp of the existing centre in The Oval.
The building, on the site of the Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre in Ashhurst Way, will have a larger hall, a training kitchen and sports changing facilities. The existing community centre site could be used for housing.
A sub-committee of interested parties from the estate has been created, including representatives from Rose Hill Children’s Centre and the advice centre. It will meet at the end of the month to discuss the new centre with council officers.
Sub-committee member Ray James, 65, chairman of the Rose Hill Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “We will be kept advised of the planning process.
“We want to be involved throughout.”
Antonia Bance, city councillor for Rose Hill, said: “We have been through a long process of consultation, talking to local residents and local groups.
“It is only right that the council gets its skates on.
“There will be an opportunity for Rose Hill residents to comment on the plans.”
She added: “I think many local residents are very excited about the opportunities for the estate.
“Everybody is a little bit sad to see the old building go, but it is a really wonderful opportunity for the estate.
“If we get planning permission in July, we will be building in 2014 and opening in 2015. It shows when there is real strong support for something to get the go-ahead it moves quickly.”
Funding for the project will come from developer contributions, money from the council, funds from the use of the old site for housing and cash set aside to provide new sports changing facilities.