Village Hall – a proposed new era?

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.

Recent History

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:

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.

The Future

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.

Penny Kitson,
Chairman of Monxton and Amport Village Hall

Draft Designs


East Elevation – from the road. The yellow line shows the outline of the existing building.

South elevation – as viewed from the field. Glass windows and bi-fold doors maximise light and views.

North elevation – backing onto the wall of Bec House

West elevation – backing onto a wall and trees with Bec House

Proposed internal layout – this can be one large space, or split into two parts, depending on requirements. We are proposing a flexible, multi-use space.






6 comments on “Village Hall – a proposed new era?

  1. Peter Parfrey says:

    I have a number of concerns regarding these proposals .
    When I raised the noise issues at the early stages of planning, I was told that the entrance would be moved to face the road, and that this would result in a reduction of noise to the properties backing on to ‘Veronoica’s field’ The plans clearly show glass folding doors opening onto a terrace facing the field, where there is currently solid entrance doors and small windows.
    I understand the desire to capitalise on the location, but do not think that members fully appreciate the noise and nuisance levels inflicted on the few residents of Green Lane whose gardens and bedroom window back onto the site.
    If you walk past the Hall during a loud function, the noise stops almost completely as you move around the bend, and the properties behind and adjacent to the hall are barely affected.The properties on the North side of Green Lane are similarly sheltered
    There is still no proper parking nearby, and it is naive to think that if the project is successful in attracting new bookings then the majority of people will attend on foot–especially on dark nights in bad weather. It simply will not happen. The only possible remedy would be to encroach on the paddock and turn part of it into a car park. This is the paddock which is at the centre of the Village Design Statement, and the view from the Village Hall across which has often been cited by the Parish Council as a reason to refuse other , less intrusive , applications.
    This major glass fronted development would transform the area, and if successful would destroy the tranquil, rural wildlife haven at the centre of the conservation area.


    • Thank you for your comments Pete. The entrance to the building is at the front, facing the road. There will be bi-fold doors to the side, for opening in summer during the day. The glass will be quality double glazing which is superb at both sound and heat insulation (both keeping heat in in winter and heat out in summer).

      There are very few loud functions in the hall and we plan to have a limit on these in the future if possible.

      Parking will always be an issue in this location, which is why we have previously looked at moving the hall, but we have not been successful, as you know. We aim to have the building as more of a multi-functional hub, to be used more by local residents, in the future. We will be looking at improving the road verge along the field and we also plan to have some bike racks to encourage cycling. Sadly, using some of the paddock for parking is not currently an option, and this is highly unlikely to change.

      We feel the proposed building will be much more attractive than the current building and therefore enhance the village and embrace the tranquil field and allow users of the building to enjoy nature in a far more harmonious way.


      • Peter Parfrey says:

        Thanks for your reply Sarah.
        I can think of very few ‘potentially loud’ situations where the sound insulation properties of the the glass will make much difference. Whenever there is a significant number of people attending a function, even in the winter, the doors and windows have always been opened, and people have gathered at the front and sides of the hall. I do not think that fire regs would let you lock them, even if you wanted to, and on a balmy summer evening who would not want to open the doors and use the ‘balcony’.
        I know there have been very few loud functions recently, and the current committee have responded very constructively to any complaints, but once the building is up, any future committee members may well take a different approach, and wish to maximise their
        under used resource.
        You say that’ unfortunately’ use of the paddock for parking is not likely to happen, implying that you would welcome it.Once again the above applies, and I suspect that at some point in the future users’ embracing the tranquil field and enjoying nature’ will be at least partially overlooking a car park, which would hardly enhance the character of the conservation area.


      • Pete – the side doors will only open onto a Juliet balcony – ie some railings to stop anyone falling out of the doors. We can only do the utmost possible to mitigate any noise, but we hope the building will not be under-used given the new ideas we have, and that parties will be few and far between.
        Whilst I have NO desire to see the field become a car park, we are aware that parking is an issue for the hall. As you know, we have explored many different options over the years. So we either decide that Monxton and Amport have no community facilities and therefore none of the possible negatives associated with this (volunteers, noise, inappropriate development, parking), or we do our best to ensure something suitable to meet most requirements for most of the community.


  2. Cathy Barbone says:

    Having lost the pub, if the village and local area is to stay a viable village community, I welcome any improvements to the village hall. Having moved here 20 years ago when there was a thriving pub and a regular bus service and now seen the decline in village life, I find it quite sad that people in the village don’t really mix anymore. If a modern village hall rejuvenates the community and makes wanting to live in Monxton more attractive then I’m all for it. If it doesn’t work, then we can at least say we have tried. The 25th is design for people to have their say and make recommendations so we can at least try and get this right for everyone.


  3. Di Darbyshire says:

    I feel as an Amport resident moved to write – when we arrived in the village in June 2002 there was (as Cathy points out) a thriving village pub in Monxton. We had a young family and moved from outside the area, the pub was a wonderful introduction to the community and we can honestly say that 18 years later those people we met are still very much in our network of friends. We have been lucky enough for our family to grow up in this inclusive community. However, now the village is left with a sad and dilapidated village hall as it’s only community hub we feel that old sense of comradeship slipping. This is the chance for both Monxton and Amport to reconnect with each other. Tales of the old ‘Hut’ on Amport village green make us yearn for that sort of community. This design is a chance to rekindle that feeling – somewhere to meet and mingle. Look at the success of Abbotts Ann village shop as a hub – with its Pizza’s, Paper’s, Coffee. Or slightly further afield Rosebourne – which has provided somewhere delightful for people to meet. An attractive, functional village hall that suits a 21st century community would be a boon – and perhaps we can encourage people to walk again and enjoy the benefits of nature (as Pete suggests) Parking is always going to be an issue until we rekindle the idea that such short journeys should be done on foot! Come on Monxton – get behind this. What better way to spend developers money than something positive for the community!


Have your say...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.