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Dawlish News

Bid for £750,000 youth facilities

Joey Deacon
Joey Deacon
22 Sep 2008 11:12

DAWLISH youngsters could have access to a state-of-the-art youth centre costing around £750,000 if new plans are given the go-ahead.

Dawlish Action for Youth want to build the 'Rolls Royce' of youth centres, including class rooms and training areas, at Sandy Lane.

Plans submitted to Teignbridge Council and recommended for approval, incorporate a facility for vocational learning.
Planning permission already exists for a slightly smaller youth centre on the site.

Those plans were submitted in 2006 and included an underground skate park, which is now being built separately behind the proposed centre.

Dawlish mayor Cllr Wally Protheroe is backing the plans.

He said: "We are hoping to get some Government funding so the Rolls Royce youth centre will be built. It will be of so much value to the young people in Dawlish.

"We have done a number of surveys going back 12 years with the public and young and old always put the youth centre at the top of their priorities."

Cllr Protheroe said 'too many young people suffer' because there were not enough facilities or training opportunities in the area.

Dawlish Action for Youth currently run a service called Youth-Topia which is a small, supervised youth centre for youngsters aged between 11 and 19.

Currently, Dawlish Action for Youth is run from Manor House, but the group says it desperately needs to expand to cater for the young people who attend.

A spokesman for the group said: "Our current activities at Youth-Topia are being carried out in totally inadequate premises, consisting of one main room, only seven metres square, an office and small kitchen facilities.

"Up to 30 to 40 young people attend each session and they cram into a too small a space.

"Some of them drift in and out, sometimes overflowing outside to the annoyance of passers-by.

"We desperately need larger premises. Through significant help from the local authorities over the past year, there is, at last a good prospect that this can be achieved."

Twelve letters of objection have been received about the suitability of the site because of worries over traffic levels and car parking.

Concerns have also been raised about the impact of noise emanating from the building.

The purpose built centre would be 26.5m by 19.5m and about 11m high. The ground floor would accommodate vocational learning facilities, training rooms for catering, plumbing, carpentry, general building, hair and beauty, media and IT and an office space.

The first floor would comprise of a games area for a range of activities and social events with a bar and an office. Disabled facilities have also been included in the plans.

The centre would be open from 9am until 10pm on Monday to Saturday and from 9am until 6pm on Sundays.

Teignbridge Council offered the group the land, Devon County Council has pledged £175,000 and Dawlish Town Council £150,000 towards building costs.

Current costs are an estimated £750,000 leaving the group with £450,000 to raise.

Dawlish Action for Youth have launched a Buy a Brick Campaign to help raise funds.

Contributors pay for each brick and will receive a certificate and an entry on the 'Roll of Honour' which will be placed in a prominent position in the building when it is completed.

The plans will go before Teignbridge Council's Development Control Committee on Monday, September 29.

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