£1.5m recreation hub scheme is called in

By Elgan Hearn | Newtown | Politics | Published:

Plans for a £1.5m “destination” riverside recreational hub will be called in to be decided by a council’s planning committee.

Councillor Joy Jones

Complaints have been made that the scheme, if it went ahead, could affect businesses in the middle of Newtown.

Open Newtown, the trading name for Going Green for a Living Community Land Trust, has submitted a planning application to replace the former Radio Hafren building with a new “iconic and sustainable riverside venue” along with a new feature play park.

They believe this will create a “community asset”, that provides “community amenities, boosts the local economy, tackles poverty and attracts tourism” helping to put  Newtown “on the map”.

Councillor Joy Jones, who represents Newtown East, said: “I am going to call this application in to be decided by committee.

“I have spoken to most of the businesses in the town centre and there are grave concerns that this will have a big impact and take footfall away from them.”

She added that several people from the business community had questioned why this venue would in effect be set up in direct competition with those in the town centre.

Agents, Asbri, said in the design and access statement: “The Riverside Venue project is part of a concerted effort to develop enterprise opportunities based on the natural resources of Newtown.”

Open Newtown would need to find £1.5 million to fund the scheme and will need to apply for grants.

In 2018, Open Newtown received £1.1 million from the Big Lottery to use on the project.

Elgan Hearn

By Elgan Hearn

Local Democracy Reporter covering Powys.


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