Over the last few years the Village Hall Committee have looked at and tried to drive forward various proposals to try and ensure we have the best possible community asset well into the 21st century.
Over 4 years ago we canvassed villagers as to what you might want from a village hall. The outcome of this was planning permission to renovate the current hall (16/01869/FULLN). To finance this, you supported fundraising events and our project fund stands around £65,000. Build costs for this renovation were estimated to be in the region of £350,000 with eligible grant funding of around £100,000. As a committee, we felt that trying to fundraise £200,00 might be a step too far.
Three years ago, the sale of the Black Swan pub in Monxton, including the car park and village green, presented us with a unique opportunity. Following initial discussions with the new owners and TVBC, there existed a potential option to build a purpose-built village hall on the existing car park in conjunction with two small roadside cottages. Build costs for a new community hub were estimated to be in the region of £400,000 with eligible grant funding around £350,000+; new builds attract additional grants as part of TVBC’s drive to create community assets fit for the future.
This main fund is called CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) which was introduced in 2016. Currently, TVBC is holding CIL funds of approximately £1.2m and we are confident that our bid stands a very good chance of success. More information on CIL can be found here: https://www.testvalley.gov.uk/planning-and-building/cil/bidding-for-cil-funds
As a community, you were again asked to provide feedback on the options available both on the online survey (July – Nov 18), paper surveys and various consultation events including a large stand at the Amport Village Fete in July 2018. The results for all of these shaped the proposals and design of the community hub which we gave to the developer.
In December 2018, this option was considered non-viable as the developer’s heads of agreement proposal proved to be too high risk. The village green would not be sold to MAVH / MPC and the proposal the developer suggested (build the hall first to their design and specification and then sell to us) would not meet CIL guidelines, so no funding would be available. Therefore, this option would no longer be viable.
In Jan 2019, a few keen members of the village undertook to see what could be done to refurbish the current hall within the budget of the existing funds. Using the results of all the previous surveys, they sought to design a refurbished hall within budget. In September 2019, they presented their suggestions to the VH Committee and, having received quotes for the work, all came in over budget and would not be eligible for CIL funding (as it’s not a newbuild or re-build). It was decided to put this option on hold.
In September 2019, the MAVH committee looked at a proposal to demolish current village hall, whilst keeping the foundations and services (water, sewage and electric) and on the current site build an oak framed building with windows on the south and front aspects and an entrance to be refashioned and glass-fronted. The design of the project would use all the information from previous surveys and as it would be a re-build, it would be eligible for CIL funding, an absolutely key element to any suggested project. It would have an air source heat pump and solar panels to ensure maximum eco credentials and low running costs.
Local architect, Luke Rose, has very kindly offered his services free of charge, in order to drive this forward and create a functional but aesthetically-pleasing building which uses the latest technology. (See proposed designs below)
Having delivered the first draft proposals to the Monxton Parish Council January meeting, with the chairman and members of Amport Parish Council invited to comment along with all locals in attendance, the architect has made some amendments and the planning application which will be submitted following the consultation. The internal layout will be firmed up in consultation with Monxton & Amport residents at a later stage.
Once we have obtained planning permission, we will look to apply for CIL funding for the proposal (April to June 2020), if successful (notified in December 2020) we then hope to start the build early in 2021.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support over this rather long process, but we are confident that we will soon be able to deliver to our villages, a community space that will meet your needs well into the 21st century.
There will be an open evening on Tuesday 25th February from 7.30pm to 9pm in the village hall. The architect, Luke Rose, will be in attendance to answer any questions, along with the Parish Council and Village Hall Committee. Please come along to find out more!
If you have any comments on the proposal, design or any other aspect, please do add your comments below in the ‘Have Your Say’ box. It is critical that we receive feedback (good and bad) from Monxton & Amport residents as this will be a key part of our bid for CIL funding.
Chairman of Monxton and Amport Village Hall