A Victorian community centre will be restored to its former glory after Essex County Council found an ambitious solution for its restoration and redevelopment.
The council has struck a deal with developers Marden to convert the building into 10 apartments, with three more homes built in the grounds, along with a brand new purpose-built community centre and car parking.
Extensive consultation has been undertaken within the local community and with Chelmsford City Council as the local planning authority. Subject to planning permission the new facilities could be available to the community by summer 2018.
Marden propose to build a new single-storey community centre of 2,960 square feet within the grounds, complete with car park. Essex County Council will then gift the land and new buildings to Writtle Parish Council with special restrictions that it can only be used for community purposes.
Marden will finance and implement the new community centre project to ensure a seamless move over of current services and facilities, before it can begin work on Longmeads House.
Ralph Bray, on behalf of Writtle Parish Council, said: “We are delighted that after a long and complex process Essex County Council is now on the cusp of submitting a planning application for our new community centre.
The new building will be far more efficient, fit for purpose and cost effective and provide the parish with a new home for community facilities in Writtle and for our two longstanding educational tenants, Writtle Green Preschool and Talking Newspapers.