Apologies over delay for new youth and community centre in Bretch Hill

The Hill Community Centre, Banbury. NNL-170314-151155009
The Hill Community Centre, Banbury. NNL-170314-151155009

Work to replace The Hill Youth and Community Centre in Bretch Hill has been delayed, leading to a council apology.

At a meeting of Cherwell District Council’s executive on Monday, council leader Barry Wood apologised for the delay.

Cllr Sean Woodcock said: “This failure lays squarely at the feet of this council and an apology is frankly long overdue.”

The existing youth centre had to stop some services when a hole was discovered in the roof of the sports hall in November 2013.

Planning permission was granted in March 2017 for the centre to be demolished and a new one to be built.

But when CDC put out a tender for works at the end of last year, the response was poor. Since then, a council spokesperson said, the project has been reviewed to ‘make sure it can be delivered to the standard we are trying to provide within the available budget’.

The revised scheme has been submitted to the planning department and, once approved, the council will re-tender for the work, aiming for building to start this autumn. The spokesperson said CDC was aware of the local community’s need for the facility to be provided as soon as possible.

She said: “The project for the new centre has taken us much longer to deliver than we had anticipated and we sincerely regret that. We are making good as quickly as we can while remaining diligent to ensuring we deliver value for money. Cherwell District Council remains committed to delivering The Hill. We apologise for the delays but are working as hard as we can to rectify the situation.

“We look forward to progressing this project with renewed pace, building strong relationships with the community throughout the design and build process, and delivering for them a project in which they can be rightly proud.”