Community centre’s future is secure after Essex County Council bought a former police station which also freed up a surplus piece of land for housing.
Essex County Council has been working with the Moulsham Lodge Community Trust (MLCT) to find it a permanent home ever since its community centre in Waltham Glen, off Gloucester Avenue, Chelmsford, closed in 2005.
After negotiating a short-term lease for the community centre to run from a former police station nearby in 2014, the council has finally struck a deal to purchase the building from Essex Police, which means a long term lease can be handed to MLCT, putting an end to years of uncertainty.
Roger Hirst, Essex’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is a great outcome for the Moulsham Lodge Community Trust and the nearby residents. This vital hub will continue to support community cohesion and I am delighted to see the building being put to continued good use.”
Essex County Council will now submit a planning application for the Waltham Glen site for 15 two-bed and 11 one-bed apartments, eight of which will be affordable.
There will be a public consultation on the proposals, while information will be on display at the MLCT community centre to help answer residents’ questions.
It is one of several sites set to be developed by Essex Housing, the council’s in-house team that works with public sector partners countywide to identify surplus land for development to make the most of taxpayer-owned assets.