A KEY vote is set to take place on plans to sell off part of a New Forest community centre car park to developers.

The proposals put to members of the community association who run Lymington Community Centre site in Cannon Street have been described as the “only realistic solution” to fund essential repairs.

A sum of almost £2milliion is needed to complete the makeover of the hub.

The vote is due to be held at a special general meeting tomorrow.

If approved, the section of land next to Brunswick Place will be sold off to help deliver the renovations.

The centre has secured a grant of £900,000 from Lymington and Pennington Town Council as part of an agreement with property builders Pennyfarthing Homes in relation to their scheme off Alexandra Road.

However, to obtain this funding the association must match the sum in the next four years and they have only raised around 10 per cent so far.

A report to community association members said: “Funds are needed to carry out the redevelopment of the centre’s buildings which are in a poor state and deteriorating. They urgently need to be refurbished and improved.

“The Lymington and Pennington Town Council pledge of £900,000 gives us a one-off opportunity to do this.

“The immediate aim is to raise around £1million for the first phase of redevelopment of the main building. The association therefore needs to raise around £500,000 which would be matched from the LPTC pledge.”

It adds: “Raising money through fundraising, grants and support from generous

donors is the preferred option.

“Unfortunately, and despite the continuous efforts of

centre staff, volunteers and trustees, plus generous support from local donors, we are still a long way short of raising the £1million for the first stage of the main building.

“The trustees have therefore reluctantly reached the conclusion that selling a small piece of the association’s land is the only realistic solution.”

Current proposals for the land, subject to planning approval, would see a two-storey building comprising six two-bed flats.

The development would result in between two and four car parking spaces being lost and the demolition of the “derelict and unsafe” John Howlett craft building. The report says the sale of land would yield around £500,000 towards the renovation, with matched council funding. In 2017, the major refurbishment project was launched to mark the centre’s 70th anniversary.