PLANS from Braintree Council to build a new multi-use community centre for Witham residents have reached an important milestone.

Bosses approved the planning application at a meeting of Braintree Council’s planning committee on March 26.

The three-storey centre will be built on land next to Haygreen Road, just behind the Aldi supermarket off Hatfield Road.

Proposals include a mixed-use hall, kitchen, bar area and changing rooms to serve sports players using the nearby football pitch.

Meanwhile, communities in and around Witham will be able to use the hall to play sports, attend meetings or events, and go to social clubs.

There are 32 planned car parking spaces and four more for disabled drivers, as well as 14 secure bicycle lockers for cyclists.

The site will be landscaped with plants and trees and an area of open space north of the building will be retained, along with a number of trees.

Mary Cunningham, cabinet member for stronger communities at Braintree Council, said: “With these plans, we are supporting the residents of Witham as well as communities within the surrounding villages too. 

“Community centres are places where people of all ages can meet to socialise, play games as well as participate in sports. 

“They are important hubs which keep minds and bodies healthy as well as reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

“With this approval, we’re a step closer in bringing this important asset to fruition.”

 Building work is expected to start later this year.