A landmark project that a council believes will revolutionise the future of education, leisure and public services in Mildenhall has been given the green light.
Members of Forest Heath District Council’s development control committee have voted in favour of establishing the Mildenhall Hub, with the final decision set to be made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government next month.
Council leader James Waters said the decision represented a ‘major step towards realising our ambitions for Mildenhall and the surrounding area, its people and for our future generations’.
“We want to deliver better school and leisure facilities for our growing population of residents in and around Mildenhall.” he said.
“The facilities that we have now are not fit for purpose.
“The Mildenhall Hub is the answer and brings a new school, leisure facilities, larger swimming pool, health centre, library and other public services together on one site close to the heart of the existing town centre.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in a better education for youngsters in the area, better gym facilities, better swimming facilities, which will also be more user friendly and more sustainable despite future financial challenges.”
The Hub project had been through several rounds of consultation, including with those who live closest to the site and so who stand to be the most affected. That, in turn, saw the design evolve to include changes to landscaping, footpaths and parking for people with disabilities as well as the provision of overflow parking spaces within the site.
Ways to reduce the impact of the Hub on local roads will also be looked at by the highway authority as part of the scheme.
Susan Byles, principal of Mildenhall College Academy, said: “This exciting project will positively impact the academy, its pupils, and staff whilst benefiting the community of Mildenhall for years to come. We are committed to providing an outstanding education for our students and we think they deserve a state of the art academy building in which to learn and develop as young people who live and may one day work and raise their families in the local community.”