The Memorial Hall was opened in 1961 as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the two World Wars and is a village-owned asset. It was extended in the 1970s with the addition of the Green Room, Hewitt Room, kitchen, toilets, library and Parish Office. The Hall is heavily used in many aspects of village life and is the social hub and centre of the village.
Despite constant maintenance, the Hall is now showing its age. Many compromises were made with the original design in order to accommodate the 1970s additions and these have caused problems ever since, including:
- Moving around in the building (the ‘flow’), e.g. users of the main hall are disturbed by users wanting to access the Green Room, the Parish Office, the toilets or the kitchen.
- Poor sound-proofing between rooms, e.g. users of the Hewitt Room can hear everything happening in the Hall.
- No disabled access to the main entrance.
- Inadequate toilet facilities and no changing facilities.
- The building is poorly insulated and hence expensive to heat.
The Parish Council are therefore proposing that The Memorial Hall be developed in the near future.
Leave the building as it is
Advantages: No capital outlay.
Disadvantages: None of the issues with the current building would be resolved, such as heating, energy efficiency, toilets, storage and access.
Modernise and refurbish the building
Cost: £800k to £1.2m
Advantages: Quicker solution than rebuild – estimated completion less than 2 years, little or no increase to your Council Tax, minimal disruption, does not waste all the money recently spent upgrading the Main Hall and stage, maintains the history and meets requirements for next 30 years.
Disadvantages: Main fabric is still the original hall, some loss of facilities while work takes place.
Knock down the building and rebuild
Cost: £2.5m to £3.5m
Advantages: Utilising modern building methods, move the Hall closer to the playing field (subject to planning permission).
Disadvantages: Significant disruption to neighbours and hirers, higher costs covered by a substantial increase in Council Tax or sales of Parish assets (the latter could mean 10 years or more to deliver a new building), extra money needed to maintain and fix the Hall in the meantime.
With the library moving to the Fire Station, there is an opportunity to upgrade that space. The Main Hall was upgraded recently but elsewhere in the building windows are leaking, floors are lifting, the heating system needs replacing, the toilets and kitchen need upgrading and much of the decor is tired. Rather than spending more money patching up these issues, we have decided to completely redevelop the Hall and make it fit for purpose.
The Parish Council has accumulated a significant development fund over many years which, together with a loan, will cover the cost of development. Our aim is not to raise the Council Tax or hiring charges to cover the cost of development and loan repayments should be no larger than the amount of money we have been setting aside as savings for the development. No club, society or grant beneficiary from the Council is therefore likely be adversely affected by this project.
This observation is based on refurbishment costs. If we were to rebuild, additional work such as demolition would need to be included and this could double the overall cost.
The plan is to have a phased development to minimise disruption to hirers. This may mean that hirers will be offered the option to temporarily relocate to a different room. In addition, a minimal amount of car park space will likely be used by the building contractors throughout the project.
As you will see from the plans, the design will improve the flow of the building, upgrade existing areas, add new spaces, toilets and changing facilities and create a central entrance that gives access to all areas. In addition, the Hall’s carbon footprint will be significantly improved.
Have your say!
The Parish Council would like your feedback with regards to this project. We recently asked for residents to complete a survey, which is now closed. However, as this is an ongoing project, we welcome your feedback at any time should you wish to contact us.
Responses to both the survey and additional feedback will be published as soon as possible.