04:33PM, Monday 14 March 2016
A community centre that has been running for 15 years in Dedworth has submitted a planning application to find out whether it is lawful.
The Pump Room provides community activities for residents in Sawyers Close.
Located in converted garages, it has been running for 15 years and in 2001 a kitchen and toilet facilities were installed.
The garages are owned by housing association Radian and the application states it is a ‘popular gathering point and a safe environment for the local residents’.
Alongside the application for a certificate of lawfulness, which is required before any extension can be green lit, there is another application to convert an adjoining garage into a meeting room facility.
“The garages are otherwise redundant spaces, generally not used by anyone,” the application states.
A spokesman for Radian said: “Residents and the Royal Borough were consulted last year about ‘the needs of the community at Sawyers Close’ as part of the I love Dedworth community action plan.
“The housing association works closely with the Sawyers Close Residents’ Association (SCRA) which delivers activities at Pump Room.”
It states since it opened there has been ‘very little’ negative feedback on the use of the garage space as a community facility.
One objection on the application says the centre has ‘contravened health and safety since day one’ with children running in front of the garages.
In response to this, the Radian spokesman said: “We believe that the proposed improvements will address the concerns raised.
“The improvements include the installation of a French door which will provide access to the grassed area behind the community room as a safe area for children to play in and this door will be an additional escape route in the event of an emergency.”
Consultations on the application will be completed on March 22 and a decision is expected by April 15.
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