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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Poundbury, Dorchester: New Community Hall Approved


"The current configuration of the building is flexible so that it can be changed to suit the exact needs of the hall operator. Mr Murphy expressed that the Duchy of Cornwall intends to consult widely before final plans for the hall are confirmed. He added: “I would like to confirm that the Duchy of Cornwall intends to work with West Dorset District Council and consult widely with Poundbury residents and businesses in the Spring of 2017 in order to objectively assess the need and viability of a new community hall including the size, specification and location of the new facility. “This is because the new community facilities, both developed and in the pipeline, and the district council’s own audit of community facilities have raised some valid questions over the demand, operation and viability of such a facility.”

The Duchy’s Deputy Estate Director Ben Murphy confirmed a review will soon be under way on the potential for Crown Hall in the North East Quadrant, in light of other community facilities in the pipeline and concerns raised by many residents and stakeholders about over provision of facilities leading to “white elephants”, Celebrating Poundbury.

Community hall for Poundbury approved, Dorset Echo

"Mr Martin revealed that a consultation exercise was due to take place in Poundbury later in the year to seek to establish the local need. He said it was possible that, pending the outcome of the consultation, the obligation could be looked at again and the Duchy could offer to provide funding towards another community facility in the area if there was not adequate need for it.

Mr Martin said: "The Duchy themselves now accept that it need to look again at this particular obligation and intends to enter into a consultation exercise with Poundbury residents soon asking the very question: do you think that a 300-seat hall on Poundbury is the appropriate way forward or should we look at community the equivalent sum of money to supporting, say, the Maltings Theatre."

Cllr Robin Potter agreed that there may not be a need for the community hall on Poundbury. He said: "There is a swell of opinion that this hall is no longer required and will have an adverse effect on various other venues."

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