Four years in the planning and all consents obtained, Manea Parish Council ditches £400,000 pavilion

Proposed view of new pavilion for Memorial Playing Field, Manea

Proposed view of new pavilion for Memorial Playing Field, Manea - Credit: Archant

Manea has ditched plans for a new £400,000 pavilion – and told Fenland Council they no longer want £100,000 from its rural capital grants fund.

The decision by the parish council ends a long running campaign to build the new pavilion/community centre and comes after four quotes to build it were obtained.

Details of the shock turnaround are revealed in parish council minutes from this summer when the decision was taken.

Clerk Terry Jordan told councillors he was in possession of all permissions and consent for the new building on the playing field and soil tests had been carried out.

He also reminded members that the council had obtained four quotes for the project that ranged from £389,000 to £429,000.

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But after a short debate councillors decided “that Manea Parish Council would not proceed with the project to provide a new pavilion/community building for the village”.

Mr Jordan said funding had been secured from:

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•£100,000 from Fenland Council rural capital grants fund

•£150,000 from sale of Cranmore Lots allotments site

•£16,000 from section 106 monies reserved in the parish council accounts

•£36,000 of section 106 monies held by Fenland Council

The meeting heard from Councillor David Cole that villagers had been consulted about the pavilion and the plans had been on display. He said that in the four years it was discussed he had received no adverse comments until the last few weeks.

Chairman Steve Emery said he, too, shared the surprise that objectors had only now come forward. His view was that if the people of Manea no longer wanted it the parish council could pull the plug on the proposal.

Councillor Richard Hirson said he could see no need for an additional community building as Manea already had a village hall, British Legion and the Rose and Crown public house.

He preferred a joined up approach involving the parish council and the village hall committee for a replacement village hall.

Councillor Sally Hookway said the pavilion would not provide facilities for the whole village since it would be used mainly by sportsmen as changing rooms and a post match relaxation area.

Cllr Emery said if the pavilion did go ahead he knew of a local firm who would, as part of its social responsibility, make a financial contribution.

However he then asked councillors to vote and they decided not to go ahead with the pavilion.

When the plans were announced for the pavilion and changing rooms the current facilities were described as being in a “deteriorating” condition and would be demolished, with a new larger pavilion built elsewhere on the field.

The new pavilion, as well as catering for the village’s sports teams, would include a kitchen and function room to serve the whole community.

To get to the existing pavilion, people need to trudge across the playing fields via an unmade path, which “limits access”.

Manea Parish Council’s proposal said: “The existing pavilion suffers from a lack of basic facilities and is at the end of its natural life with the concrete panel construction being difficult and costly to adapt to modern requirements.

“The old pavilion offers virtually no facilities for the disabled visitors or less able bodied and is therefore limited in its use and many events cannot be satisfactorily provided for.

“The proposed pavilion has been designed to reflect the design and nature of buildings in the area and by its siting ensures that the construction will not affect the nature and sporting function of the playing fields.

“It would provide modern changing facilities for events on the field together with a new multi-purpose function room.

“It would meet modern requirement in a low maintenance and cost effective structure, which will provide a new social hub for the village community.”

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