TURNING St George’s Garrison Church into a community centre would be in keeping with the “green vision” for Whitehill & Bordon, says one of its district councillors.
Last month it was saved from demolition and replacement with houses by East Hampshire’s planning committee and Cllr Adam Carew, who campaigned for its retention as part of the town’s history, sees this role as its ideal future.
He said: “With the conversion of Pinewood Village Hall for the homeless, new residents in the ever-growing Pinewood area – the northern end of town where most of the new development is taking place – have nothing now in terms of a proper community centre.
“Although we have excellent facilities at the Forest Community Centre and Whitehill Village Hall, they are at the other end of town.
“Really it’s not in keeping with the green vision of our town to make people travel all that way by car when they could easily walk to a more local venue.
“I am keen not to raise expectations – such concepts have to be evidence-based and properly tested to show there is both demonstrable community need and popular support – but we are a growing town so I hope the idea can at least be examined.”
Whitehill Town Council also felt a community centre was an alternative use and its objection to the houses helped save the church.
But leader Cllr Andy Tree warned: “It is important to note that this does not prevent an appeal or future planning applications being submitted, nor does it change the ownership of the site.”