VIP help boosts village hall plea

Not suitable: The old dilapidated Children's Institute which is set for demolition.                      Picture: Steve Taylor.

Not suitable: The old dilapidated Children's Institute which is set for demolition. Picture: Steve Taylor.

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LAbour leader Ed Miliband has helped a parish win permission to build a new village hall on a greenfield site.

The Doncaster North MP wrote a letter in support of the application by Moss and District Parish Council, saying it would be ‘a great asset’ for the area.

Planning officers had recommended refusing the proposal for the community hall on Fenwick Common Lane because it represented an unjustified and inappropriate development within the countryside.

But after Stainforth ward councillor Joe Blackham gave his support, the planning committee passed the application.

The new single-storey community hall with parking facilities, which was also supported by a petition signed by 138 people, will replace the old Children’s Institute.

The institute is a wooden building dating back to 1925 and because of its age never had a car park.

Coun Joe Blackham told the committee it was ‘totally unfit for purpose’.

A local landowner has donated a field for the proposed hall.

Coun Blackham added: “I think it is important we understand there is flexibility to give permission for this much-needed and extremely valuable community service.

“There is no other appropriate site available, this has been gifted by a local farmer whose grandchildren use the Children’s Institute.

“It is essential they have off-road parking and opportunities for extended play facilities.

“Ed Miliband totally supports this group of people who want to build a state-of-the-art facility and it is in your gift to grant that.”

Planning chief Richard Purcell said the committee would have to be clear the community use outweighed the loss of countryside if they voted against officers’ recommendations.

The new hall will also be used by the villages of Fenwick and Braithwaite.

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