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East Boldre community hall rebuild plans approved by New Forest National Park Authority after it was destroyed by fire

PROPOSALS to rebuild a community hall in East Boldre which was destroyed in a fire have been approved by the national park authority.

The planning committee gave the go-ahead despite objections from parish councillors who wanted the site to be considered for something else, as they claimed there was already enough meeting space in the village.

As reported in the A&T, Beaulieu Estate submitted like-for-like proposals to replace the old clubhouse at Strawberry Fields which was ravaged by the blaze in April 2021, so it can once again be used by residents.

Fire crews battled the inferno throughout the night (photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
Fire crews battled the inferno throughout the night (photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)

East Boldre Parish Council said that while it supported the removal of the remains of the existing damaged building, it wanted the rebuilding of the structure to be refused for allow further information to be obtained on the use of the hall.

It said the village had "other adequate provision" for public meeting places.

But the concerns were rejected by NPA members who voted unanimously to grant permission, without any East Boldre parish councillors present.

NPA member Sue Bennison said: "It is very unfortunate that the parish council, having caused this application to come before us, is not here to explain their reason for refusal, which was about the use of this building and whether it was necessary to build it."

Before it was destroyed the clubhouse had been used for meetings by the Royal British Legion and a local motorcycle club.

Beaulieu Estate has said the new clubhouse will "be used for the same purpose as previously, providing a community hall for local gatherings".

The application had no letters of support or objection from the public.

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