Work is to begin on Monday (March 4) on a new Beechfield centre for Fremington.

Plans for the new Beechfield community centre. Picture: Woodward SmithPlans for the new Beechfield community centre. Picture: Woodward Smith

The project from Fremington Parish Council will see the old derelict portable building torn down and new combined community building, council offices and sports changing facilities put up in its place.

The council has revised and expanded on the original plans put out last year and the new centre is expected to cost in the region of £380,000.

It will include a community meeting room and associated facilities and will be fully accessible, whereas the current council offices are not.

Work will be carried out by Barnstaple contractor CDL and the design has come from Woodward Smith architects.

The old portable building currently used as a changing room by Fremington Football Club will also be demolished.

If all goes to plan, the work is expected to be completed by late August.

The car park and playing field will be closed for the duration of the construction work for safety reasons.

Parish clerk Victoria Woodhouse said the council would be holding an opening event and it was hoped to do something in memory of Councillor Tony Wood, who pushed hard for the project to happen.

Sadly he never got to see the start of the work after passing away suddenly in April of last year.

Mrs Woodhouse said: "We have been working very hard on these plans over the last year to make sure they are fit for our needs for now and into the future."

Council chairman Sue Kingdom added: "Tony Wood was a staunch advocate of the building and it is so sad that he died before he could even see the work start.

"It's a fitting tribute to Tony and hopefully it will benefit the community and be another valuable asset for the council."

Parks and playing field committee chairman Lou Goodger said it was a wonderful asset for Fremington that would be accessible and a community hub.

She also paid tribute to Cllr Wood, saying: "He was really instrumental in this and it's a shame he was not able to see it completed. He had wanted this for a long time, he pushed for it and was very strong in his views."

A planning application has just gone in to convert the existing council office into residential accommodation, which will be sold to help pay for the new building.

The council has £344,000 earmarked for the project so far including a £150,000 loan, a £5,000 grant from county councillor Frank Biederman and section 106 contributions paid by developers.