Plans to transform community centre into housing

Archive shot of Cllr Raj Khan outside Elmhurst Community Centre
Archive shot of Cllr Raj Khan outside Elmhurst Community Centre

Proposals to demolish Elmhurst Community Centre in Aylesbury and build housing in its place have been put before planners.

The centre was closed in September last year by Aylesbury Vale District Council, which said it was no longer used enough and its running costs were too high.

It now hopes to build six homes on the site, so that the ‘proceeds of [the site’s] sale will benefit the wider community’, according to a planning document submitted on its behalf.

The council’s own planning department will now judge the proposals.

The planning statement adds: “The creation of six modest dwellings whilst neglible in the context of the district, or even Aylesbury, would nonetheless provide much needed housing in an appropriate and sustainable location and in so doing help support the local economy.”

When plans to close the centre were first announced, Elmhurst district councillor Raj Khan said the Fairfax Crescent facility was a vital part of the community.

Liberal Democrat Mr Khan said: “I will be horrified if that centre closes. It would be an awful thing to do. We shouldn’t deprive people from using it, even if they do not use it all the time. We are going to kill off communities in the town if we start doing things like this. It’s a slap in the face for the community.”

The hall, opened in 1972, hosted a variety of activities including exercise, table tennis and religious events.