Fight is on to save Stapleford Community Centre from redevelopment

Councillor Richard MacRae
Councillor Richard MacRae

Stapleford councillors have launched a campaign to stop the demolition of Stapleford Community Centre for a housing development.

Broxtowe Borough Council says the land would be better used for much-needed housing development.

But Stapleford councillors John McGrath and Richard MacRae say the centre benefits 300 people on a weekly basis and is vital to the community.

Councillor MacRae, member for Stapleford North, said: “While we accept that the council is under pressure to meet its housing targets and this is a key priority, the development will only meet the needs of, at best, 16 people - assuming each dwelling houses four people - or it could be as little as eight people.

“By comparison the community centre benefits on average 300 people on a weekly basis but, in truth, over the 60 years of its existence it has benefited many thousands of residents both of Stapleford and the borough and will continue to benefit many more thousands in the future if it is permitted to do so.”

Councillors MacRae and McGrath, along with Stapleford Community Association say the centre should be saved for the following reasons:

- The association has over 200 members who are all users of the centre

- The centre is used by 300 people

- It is well-maintained, well-funded and-well managed

- The centre receives no funding from Broxtowe Borough council other than a grant of £3,000 to cover the rent

- The activities which take place in the centre are primarily focussed on health, exercise, well-being and social interaction

- Activities are fully consistent with the council’s key priorities of health and community

Coun MacRae added: “The council has registered the community centre as an Asset Of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011 and therefore has recognised its importance to the community.

“It seems inconceivable therefore that council should now be contemplating its demolition.”

A spokesman for Broxtowe Borough Council said: “Cabinet agreed in 2015 not to renew the lease in order to use the land for much-needed housing.

“A study by the People and Places Examination Inquiry Group in 2012 fully audited community centres in the borough and their activities and this was taken into account.

“The group was offered alternative accommodation, which was turned down. We continue to work to find suitable alternative accommodation.

“Our estates manager and a local councillor have met with representatives from the community centre and we are currently considering their comments.”