A NEW Dolphins Hall extension to be used by Tetbury Youth Club was given the go-ahead by Cotswold District Council, despite concerns that the design was unattractive.
The village is currently trying to find a new home for its youth club as the deadline to spend money procured from the sale of the old building is in July.
But plans for the extension at the Dolphins Hall came under fire by neighbours who said that they were not consulted and that the designs were not fit for purpose and aesthetically unsuitable for the conservation area.
Colin and Sonia Peacock, who live next door to the hall, said the development would also intrude on their right of way.
Speaking at a district council planning meeting on Wednesday, April 12, Tina Stevenson, representing the Dolphins Hall, said: “The hall is quite simply in dire need of renovation. It is a community building which is out of date, but the hall’s committee have not been able to cover the cost of a bigger build.
“The hall is well used and bookings are up on up. Our youth are currently in a pod, having been evicted by Gloucestershire County Council when they sold the building.”
£225,000 from the sale of the youth club's old home was given to the community to be spent within a three year period, but after that period came to an end, the deadline was extended for one more year.
Jeremy Townsend, who is responsible for the project, said: “We have addressed the district council’s conservation officer’s comments and Historic England have made no objection.
“The scheme will be of significant benefit to the Tetbury community.
“Addressing concerns about privacy, use of the site will not change.”
Planning committee members accepted concerns that the design was not particularly attractive but said they recognised the need for a youth club building.
Cllr Mark Harris said: “Municipal buildings like this struggle sometimes to look great but they are needed.”
Cllr Patrick Coleman added: “I do think it is worth reflecting on design issue. I hesitate to think we would accept this design in a central location.
“I would like to share objectors concern that it does not enhance appearance of the area but I also recognise that it is a community facility.”
But Cllr Tony Berry was unfazed by the concerns on design: “It does not really impact in terms of visual impact. I do not see any reason why we should not go forth. There is a benefit for the youth.”