Thursday, 9 October 2014

Village Hall Meeting

Click to download proposal

The Public Meeting concerning the future of the village hall was held on Monday September 22, 2014 when about 40 villagers attended.
Chairman of the Management Committee of the Village Hall, Tony Fleetwood opened the meeting by emphasising that there were no plans to move the village hall from its present site and any future plans for the hall were unconnected with any house building applications in the village. Any major works concerning the hall could not go ahead without the consent of the village through a public vote open to every adult in Chearsley.
Results of the Village Plan in which 72% of residents who responded agreed that the hall needs improvement, had prompted the Village Hall committee overseen by Antonia Stratford to investigate improving facilities. It is appreciated that many in the village have a special attachment to the present hall, having been involved in raising funds for its building after Lady Floyd had given the land to the village, and it is hoped that when proposals for a new hall had been heard and discussed, the idea of building of a new village hall on this site would be accepted.
Antonia Stratford addressed the meeting saying that the purpose of this meeting was to seek approval from the village for the basic concept design for a new village hall in order that AVDC could be approached for pre-planning advice. This will not commit the village to actually going ahead with the rebuild at this stage. Chearsley would benefit from a new hall offering flexible space to cater for everyone rather than a few user groups. It is recognised that while Chuf is a vital source of income, their use of the hall restricts use by other groups. Teenagers (more than 50 are expected to live in Chearsley in the next few years) and those of retirement age are not currently well catered for by the hall. Insulation, heating, electrics are inadequate and expensive to run.
Work done so far included research into funding available, which could possibly be up to 50% of the total cost of a new build and contact with Local Area Forum, AVDC, BCC and Community Impact Bucks, all of which had been helpful and encouraging. Other villages with a recently renovated or new village hall had been contacted and visited and their experience was that bookings for the hall had doubled and many new user groups were now using the hall.
PCMS, a project management and architectural design firm of Haddenham, had been instructed to produce a Feasibility Study. Their initial advice was that it would not be economic to renovate the existing hall, but to knock it down and start again. To this end, they had produced 2 Concept designs, both offering 1 community area, which could be subdivided by partitions into up to 3 separate rooms, including kitchen, storage and toilet facilities. Layout 1 was much bigger than Layout 2 as it also included a second large community space, but had the disadvantages that the electric substation would have to be moved and the outside space would be smaller. Useful discussion, comments and questions took place including concerns that the flexible walls would not be sound proof (they would); would it be big enough for short mat bowls (probably), but not a high enough ceiling for badminton; should there be separate toilets, kitchen and storage area for Chuf; could there be a stage (possibly a pull out one); could photovoltaic panels be included to be rented out to generate revenue; was the provision of car parking spaces sufficient; the outside play area and equipment for children in the village was essential to be kept; what would be the cost (in the region of £1350 to £1450 per sq. metre).
 The plans on view are not detailed and AVDC would be approached with a broad plan before detailed plans were formed. Another public meeting would be held to approve the plans and agree to the rebuild before submission to AVDC.
A show of hands revealed that there was a majority in favour of the smaller layout 2 of approximately 275 sq. Metres.
A copy of both Layout 1 and 2 can be found on the noticeboard or downloaded, and comments and suggestions are welcome and should be sent to or addressed to Antonia Stratford at The Old Granary, Chilton Road, Chearsley.