A major milestone has been reached during the construction of a new community playschool in Dennington.
A new early years facility, Little Oaks Playschool, is currently under construction in the village and to celebrate the completion of the roof, a topping out ceremony took place on Thursday 6 April, attended by trustees from Badingham Playschool charity and CIC and East Suffolk Council.
Little Oaks will provide a new purpose-built home for Badingham Playschool, which is currently located at the Westbury Centre in Framlingham.
The new playschool is being built on land owned by Dennington Consolidated Charities, a local charitable trust. The majority of the construction costs have been funded through East Suffolk Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy allocations, totalling £1,446,466.71.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a fee which the Council can charge developers when new housing is built in the district. CIL can then be put towards improvements to local infrastructure, such as play areas, schools and GP surgeries. The Council holds a list of key projects which are included in the Local Plan and these projects are then put forward for the latest round of CIL funding.
The playschool, which has 11 staff, serves a wide area with almost 40% of children coming from Framlingham as well as Dennington, Tunstall, Wickham Market, Parham, Darsham, Earl Soham, Saxmundham and Bruisyard. Children also attend from villages outside East Suffolk including Eye, Bedfield and Laxfield.
Little Oaks is due to open in September - bookings can be made now.
In September 2021, East Suffolk Council allocated £6,308,245 in CIL funding to support the expansion of schools, leisure and health facilities in the district.
Seven major projects which are identified within the Local Plan as being key to planned growth within East Suffolk were chosen to receive CIL funding. As well as Little Oaks Playschool, these projects include additional classroom space at Holton St Peter Primary School, an expansion of Edgar Sewter Primary School in Halesworth and new outdoor sports facilities as part of the Halesworth Campus Project.