The local hub for Mildenhall is taking shape

The proposed local government hub at Sheldrick Way, Mildenhall, with the limit of the building area shown as a pink dashed line ANL-160120-163138001
The proposed local government hub at Sheldrick Way, Mildenhall, with the limit of the building area shown as a pink dashed line ANL-160120-163138001
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A local government services hub in Mildenhall will house everything from a swimming pool to the police station, if it goes ahead.

The Joint Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury West Suffolk Joint Growth Steering Group will next Tuesday consider a consultant’s draft development brief on what will be on the site and how it can be laid out.

The brief says that 13 sites were initially examined, but Sheldrick Way was ‘found to be the most beneficial in

the terms of the business case’ and was largely supported by the public during consultations.

The hub will occupy the current 6.4 hectare Mildenhall Academy Sixth Form Collage site, plus additional neighbouring farmland, which is all owned by Suffolk County Council.

The brief says the site will accommodate:

nForest Heath District Council Offices

nA Suffolk County Council staff base

nLeisure and Sports facilities including a swimming pool

nCitizens Advice Bureau

nOffices for the NHS and Department of Work and Pensions

nHealth Centre

nPolice and Fire Service facilities

nAll of Mildenhall’s post-11 education

nSome of Mildenhall’s primary and pre-school provision

The brief says 75 per cent of the buildings will be two-storey and notes that anything higher will need to be carefully designed and sited so as not to be intrusive seen from the countryside or the neighbouring Mildenhall conservation area. Most of the existing tree screening will be retained.

The building work will be phased with priority being given to the sports facilities.

That is because the 2014 business plan for the hub recognised that the Dome leisure centre and the swimming pool were reaching the end of their lives and would need a large investment to keep operational, which could be better spent on the new hub.

The next phase would be secondary school offices and then the primary school to meet expected population growth.

The brief adds: “Refurbishment of the Sixth Form College is likely to be limited in extent and could progress as

and when required regardless of the phasing of other elements of the scheme.”

The brief can be seen in the steering group’s documents at https://democracy.westsuffolk.gov.uk