THIS is the first look at how the new Hadleigh Community Hall could look if campaigners can secure a lease for the land from Castle Point Council.

The Endway Community Association, headed up by Neil Hamper, have drawn up plans with architects to build a £500,000 state of the art hall on the car park site in Castle Lane.

They want to build a hall called Hadleigh Community Hall on the land that was earmarked for housing development as part of the regeneration of the town.

The Hadleigh masterplan is currently going through Castle Point Council and the results of a long awaited traffic study which were due in March have been put back to July.

Mr Hamper, 70, of Benfleet Road, Hadleigh said: “We really need the community to get behind the project now. Our next step is to persuade Castle Point Council to grant us a lease and then we can apply for full planning permission.

“This is dependant on the masterplan being decided and it is stalling our progress in trying to get this project going.

“We have been doing a lot of consultation with people living near the hall and lots of the young people say they want a place where they can watch a film.

“This is just one of the many things the hall will be used for and it will also be approved by Sport England, the main hall will be multi purpose allowing us to use it from day to night.

“We have a long list of clubs who have shown an interest in using the hall during the day and during the evenings we will open it up for concerts and dinner and dances.

“The hall has got to be sustainable and it has got to pay for itself, that will be our aim, and we will set up a charitable trust to run it.”

The campaign group has consulted nearly 900 people in Hadleigh and had a 25 per cent response.

A group of the members from the group went to the Hadleigh councillors surgery at the Hadleigh Old Fire station on Saturday and showed them the plans.

Mr Hamper said councillors Norman Ladzrie and Simon Hart expressed their support for the construction of a new hall.

If the group secure and lease and planning permission they will raise the £500,000 needed for construction of the hall from chartiable foundations and grant giving organisations.

Beryl Haisman-Baker, secretary for the group, added: “We have a strong vision for this community hall. There is nothing for Hadleigh residents which represents the 21 century.

“The hall will be modern and current and useful to everyone in the community. At the moment we only have faith halls and we want something different.

“It will be ecologically built with solar panels on the roof and water recycling and any other features the architects deem appropriate.

“We need people in the community to get behind us and support the vision for this new hall in Hadleigh.”