A TRUSTEE is calling for patience over long-awaited plans to bring a new community centre to Halstead.

The bid to bring a proposed community centre to Halstead has been in the pipeline for more then six years.

The project, which is being spearheaded by the Halstead Community Centre Charitable Company, aims to bring the community centre to disused land off Broton Drive.

Having taken a 999-year lease on the land in 2016, plans to build on the site hit a snag due to issues over site contamination.

As a result, the project has been on hold while trustees work with the Environment Agency to resolve the matter.

Trustee and town councillor Jackie Pell says the group is working around the clock to deliver the community centre.

She says working with the Environment Agency has been a long process with the project becoming “bogged down”.

However, the trust has now identified the contamination issues and is now working to drum up funds and work out a method to solve the problem.

Progress has also been slowed by the pandemic and the trust could alter its plans and designs to accommodate the changes in lifestyle brought on by the crisis, with the contamination issues giving the trust “breathing space” to potentially make changes.

Mrs Pell said she understands residents’ frustration but is asking them to be patient.

She insisted that the trust is committed to bringing the community centre to the town.

“It will happen because I’m going to make sure it does,” said Mrs Pell.

“We will probably be adapting the current plans to reflect change after Covid. There is no point building something people won’t use and we need to address how life expectations have changed.

“We will need a lot of money but that will be up to the trustees to find through fundraising or securing some kind of section 106 agreement or grants.

“We are still looking into various other issues and also there are the legal implications to think about – there are just so many things to sort out you probably wouldn’t think of.

“No-one wants this building more than I do, it means a lot to me.

“The trust is already doing all it can. They’re volunteers and are already giving up so much of their free time to try and achieve this and I am so grateful to them.

“I know people are getting frustrated but we are trying our very best.”