CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a youth centre alongside the Coffee Spot in Sandhurst Memorial Park have been given the go-ahead.

The long-awaited decision, rubber-stamped last Thursday at Bracknell Forest Borough Council's planning and highways committee, comes after months of protest from

residents who fear the centre could encourage drug users and homeless people to congregate in Sandhurst.

The new youth centre will give young people access to information on issues such as health, housing, careers, and provide facilities for the youth offending team and Social Services.

Young people will be able to visit the centre from Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5.30pm.

Plans to hold dance workshops and computer classes from 7pm to 10pm for one evening a week are also in the pipeline.

The development is a joint initiative between Bracknell Forest Borough Council,

the voluntary organisation UB40 and Sandhurst Town Council.

Councillors hope to see

building work under way by the summer.