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Brooksbank, Melbourn

Following the acquisition of the Brooksbank police authority stock in 2009, Iceni Homes and Hundred Houses have been working with Melbourn Parish Council to develop a scheme which best addresses local community needs. Early meetings established a long-standing need for a community centre – eventually branded a ‘community hub’ – within Melbourn, incorporating facilities such as a Parish Council office, meeting room and library.

From the outset, Hundred Houses was aware of the site’s redevelopment potential and, once the acquisition was complete, tasked Iceni with establishing how to make better use of the land.

Early meetings with the Parish Council highlighted local apprehensions over the redevelopment of such a high profile and centrally-located site. A subsequent consultation aimed at placating local concerns identified the possibility of including a community centre in the scheme.

A community centre concept was developed in liaison with the parish council, which agreed to pay for the centre’s provision. As such the building and associated land would be transferred to the parish council upon completion.

The location within the site and other details of the community centre were agreed after further meetings and discussions. Once detailed budget costs were provided, further funding from the Public Loans Board was obtained to top-up existing parish council reserves.

A public consultation on the services offered by the community hub and the cost of their provision to the parish took place, eliciting no significant adverse feedback.