THE project aiming to build a new community hub for the people of Wilstock and Stockmoor took a major step forward this week after planning permission was approved by Sedgemoor District Council.

The plans were submitted by North Petherton Town Council, which worked with the Wilstockhub charity to put together the proposals.

The application includes a new building complete with a community hall and cafe, a number of community rooms and a creche, a community garden, play area and car parking.

Cllr Lucinda Spelman-Ives, a trustee of the Wilstockhub charity, said: “This is a big milestone for the Wilstockhub charity, a community-led project.

“The trustees along with Juliet Bidgood Architecture revisited the building plans and have made better use of every inch to meet the needs of the community including more community garden space to grow fruit and veg which will supply the hub. 

“We are being as environmentally friendly as we possibly can.” 

Bloor Homes South West will be transferring the land to Wilstockhub within a couple of weeks, Mrs Spelman-Ives confirmed, and added that Bloor had help pay the charity’s solicitor’s fees to help make the project happen.

Mrs Spelman-Ives continued: “We are looking at bringing in all the services and activities that are needed in a community so everyone can live a better way of life, it will be great to see some budding local social enterprises too. 

“The trustees continue to work on bringing in the funds to build the badly needed community hub and if all goes well with our strategic funding plan, our aim is to open our doors to the community in summer 2021.

“We have approximately 4,000 residents in Wilstock and Stockmoor with no facilities. 

“We have hundreds of lovely people in the community, so a hub will be the icing on the cake. 

“There are and will be exciting times ahead of us.”

In 2017 and 2018, the Wilstockhub group consulted and engaged with the community to develop an accurate view of peoples wishes and needed.

The proposed building is organised into two wings. The east wing is the smaller and contains three community rooms, two small and one large.

The large room is to have flexibility to be used as a self-contained creche or nursery while also being available for other uses.

The wing also includes a small kitchen, toilets, and a store room. The west wing includes the main hall.

This has been designed to be suitable for performances, receptions, clubs, sports activities and parties and to be able to be subdivided for training and fitness and other classes.

To view the plans, visit the Sedgemoor District Council website and search for application 37/20/00007.