A ROW has erupted over the size of a community centre that is due to be built at Badbury Park.

Planning permission was granted by Swindon Borough Council on Tuesday to build 61 homes, a community centre, a day nursery plus a further 20 residential units at the Badbury Park development.

It is part of the 890 home scheme which was approved by the secretary of state in 2012.

Despite the application being granted by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday night, a number of concerns were raised by members, with the most significant being the proposed size of the community centre.

In their initial objections, the South Swindon Parish Council said: “The Community Centre is totally unsuitable for use by the community. The room is tiny and there is no storage shown for the room.” They also said that noise from the community centre will affect residents.

The proposed community centre comes in at just 123 square metres. However, despite its small size it is larger than the 112 square metre centre that was originally proposed by the developers.

But Coun Jane Milner-Barry (Lab) told the chamber that the centre simply isn’t big enough.

She said: “It is far too small. The developers need to rethink this whole area and give the people of Badbury Park a community centre worthy of the name.”

The proposed “community room” will have a separate lobby space, toilets, storage facilities and a kitchen, though it was pointed out that getting any more than one person in the kitchen at any given time might be a challenge.

However, council officers insisted that the proposed centre is suitable.

The planning documents read: “While it may be considered that this is a small space, it reflects the previous requirement and is something that the local community have indicated they welcome.

“Officers are satisfied that the proposal is suitable for use for the intended purpose given this background and feedback from residents.”

Coun Gary Sumner (Con) said that if the centre was any larger it might be used for noisy activities that would have a detrimental effect on residents living nearby.

A planning officer also reminded members that because the community centre forms part of a Section 106 agreement, the application cannot be refused just because what is offered is deemed insufficient by some.