APPROVAL of plans for a new recreational and community facility has been welcomed by a city parish.

Lowes Barn Community Project (LBCP) and the City of Durham Parish Council are delighted the proposed new centre, in Neville’s Cross, has been given the green light by planners.

The 272m-sq development will provide an indoor space for public meetings, community groups, recreation, plus sport and fitness activities.

It will be situated on the Lowes Barn Recreation Ground, on Park House Road.

The site, now owned and managed by Durham County Council, includes an old bowls green, a children’s play area, a multi games area, outdoor gym equipment and a playing field.

Designed to fit in with the surrounding area, the building will have a pitched roof similar to those on nearby residential properties.

It will be constructed to a modern design with timber cladding and grey aluminium on windows and doors, but reflecting a barn style.

Featuring a mix of large and small rooms it will offer a flexible range of uses.

The site is easily accessible via footpaths, designated cycle routes and nearby public transport links.

It has been financed from an allocation of community fund cash by Durham Area Action Partnership backed by local county council members’ neighbourhood budget.

The LBCP hopes to secure further funding to proceed with the construction as soon as possible.

Councillor Elizabeth Scott, who chairs the city parish council, said: “Once built, this centre will really represent the culmination of a phenomenal community effort with thousands of volunteer hours carried out by a small, dedicated team of six to seven trustees of the project and eight volunteers.

“A great deal of time, effort, detail and consultation was carried out ahead of the planning application being submitted and the parish council was delighted to submit a letter of support along with many from the local community for the plans.”

She said the parish council has recently provided, “a significant level of grant funding to kick start the preparation of construction works.”

LBCP chair, Jennifer Thompson, said: “We are delighted to have passed this major milestone and would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us over the last three years.”

Planning permission for the new centre was granted by the county council, on July 16.