Monxton & Amport Village Hall – Update

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: 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.

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.

 

 

 

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: 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Swan Planning Application

If you have already objected to the Black Swan planning application 19/01229/FULLN then please also advise TVBC that you also object to the related planning application 19/01230/LBWN by simply emailing Emma Jones the case office at TVBC (ejones@testvalley.gov.uk) to that effect.

In addition, if you have not already commented either to support or object, please do so as soon as possible, while the application is still under consideration and before the TVBC planning committee meeting expected at the end of August.

This includes ALL the Monxton and Amport villagers and not just the immediate High Street, if you wish to have the Black Swan back as a pub and the village green kept in the current state and not reduced in size with trees cut down by the developer.

Parish Council Objection to planning application for former Black Swan and Car Park

Please see the Parish Council objections to the above applications. Villagers are encouraged to submit their own objections directly to Test Valley Borough Council

Monxton Parish Council Letter of Objection

Application Nos: 19/01229/FULLN & 19/01230/LBWN
Proposal: The relocation of the Black Swan to a new building erected on the Black Swan Car Park, construction of two 2-bedroom dwellings and the conversion of The Black Swan Public House to a single dwelling

Monxton Parish Council strongly objects to this application on the following grounds:

The applicant’s Design and Access Statement intimates that, following a meeting on the 16/10/18, this proposal is supported by Monxton Parish Council (MPC) and that it also has support from the villagers following a survey for a new village hall (aka Hub) in 2018.  MPC wishes to totally refute this statement, which conflates support for a new village hub with the relocated village pub. The applicant in claiming this application has community support has confused both villagers and TVBC consultees.

It should be noted that the village hall project was planned to be on the same site with the same developer but had to be abandoned due to the inability to agree commercial terms with the developer.  This was, in part, due to the developer not owning a critical part of the land, which is occupied by the SSE sub-station and which is presently screened at the rear of the car park and not visible from the crossroads or the village green.  We object to any plan to move the sub-station to the front of the car park/village green where it will be visible and materially impact the views from both the Village Green and the road. 

This application does not comply with: Policy COM9: Community-Led Development

This is NOT a Community Led Development contrary to the developer’s statements in the application.

The development does NOT have the support of the Parish Council or the villagers and this has been confirmed by the results of the survey conducted by MPC following an open village meeting to discuss this planning application on the 13th June 2019.

There are no villagers supporting the application based on valid planning reasons, merely one person who wishes to have another pub, ignoring the fact that we already have a perfectly good public house, which could easily be re-opened. 

We object to the change of use of The Black Swan to Residential

Policy E9: Heritage

Test Valley Borough Council states that heritage assets are ‘irreplaceable’ and ‘should be retained wherever possible’. Development affecting a heritage asset will be permitted provided that: a) it would make a positive contribution to sustaining or enhancing the significance of the heritage asset taking account of its character, appearance and setting; and b) the significance of the heritage asset has informed the proposal through an assessment proportionate to its importance.

The proposal for The Black Swan does not sustain or enhance the significance of this heritage asset.

The “relocation” of the Black Swan appears to be simply a mechanism to obtain change of use by replacing one community venue with another while appearing to offer facilities to the village for meetings and other functions.  This is totally unnecessary as the current village hall will be revamped in the near future in a new project funded by the community.

The developer has, so far, failed to refurbish and re-open the Grade 2 Listed Black Swan, despite buying an on-going freehold pub business, which without the high rent and alcohol prices charged by Enterprise Inns could become profitable again. This is a fact based on the work undertaken by the team which looked at buying and re-opening the pub as a Community Asset.

The developer will need to undertake many of the refurbishments required for a residential property in any event and, therefore, it is extremely disappointing that they want to build a new pub when we already have “The Mucky Duck”, a well-known and loved pub with such an important historical pedigree dating back to the 17th century.

The logic which the developer has used to justify the building of a new pub appears very flawed, in that if there is a demand for a pub, the Black swan could be re-opened for a fraction of the cost of building a new pub.  The new pub would have less car parking spaces than are currently available and there is no obvious demand or need in the village for two new houses with tiny courtyard gardens.

We object to the developer taking any land from the Village Green to expand the car park, which is contrary to TVBC Public Amenity Open Space policy.

Policy LHW1: Public Open Space

Development proposals that would result in the loss of existing open spaces or other recreation facilities will only be permitted if: d) the space or facility is not needed to meet the full range of leisure and recreational needs of the local community; e) the proposed development is for an alternative open space, sport or recreation facility for which there is such a need as to outweigh the loss; or f) any space or facility to be lost would be replaced by an equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality and be in a suitable location.

This proposal would result in the loss of an existing open space which will not be replaced by an equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality.

The village green is an iconic part of Monxton and provides the key to the character of the village being situated next to the idyllic Pillhill Brook, the ancient bridge and the original crossroads from which it is highly visible. It is critical to the village as it hosts both local and national events including, in the past, the Royal Wedding and the Queen’s birthday celebrations. The village green is the most important open space in the village, previously being used as allotments for the “Dig for Glory campaign” during World War 2. The villagers levelled the ground and laid the grass lawn seen today.  Monxton Parish Council has maintained the Village Green for over 70 years under an agreement with Strong’s Brewery of Romsey, then Enterprise Inns and currently with DC Li Builders, in exchange for unlimited use by the village for events.

DC Li Builders Ltd confirmed at our village meeting on13th June 2019, that to give them space for the expanded car park, they would require a section of about 6-8 feet of the green and, to do so, they would need to remove the existing mature hedge and replant it in a new location This is unacceptable and represents an intolerable attack on our village green and, as TVBC has defined this area as Public Amenity Land, no permission should be granted to take any land from the village green or to remove hedges or fell trees in the Conservation Area.  Monxton Parish Council has successfully obtained an order to make the village green the subject of an Asset of Community Value (ACV), which provides additional protection.

We are also concerned that the very poor quality drawings make it very difficult to assess the measurements of the land being taken from the green and the size of the buildings. We request TVBC to make the developer submit new detailed plans with precise measurements plus a current and a proposed detailed site map including the views of the new pub, car park and new houses.

Village GreenThe application is in contravention to Policy E2: Protect, Conserve and Enhance the Landscape Character

To ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the landscape of the Borough development will be permitted provided that: a) it does not have a detrimental impact on the appearance of the immediate area and the landscape character of the area within which it is located; b) it is designed and located to ensure that the health and future retention of important landscape features is not likely to be prejudiced; c) the existing and proposed landscaping and landscape features enable it to positively integrate into the landscape character of the area; d) arrangements for the long term management and maintenance of any existing and proposed landscaping have been made; and f) it does not result in the loss of important local features such as trees, walls, hedges or watercourses.

The proposed alterations to the Village Green and pub car park do not protect, conserve or enhance the landscape or character of the village.

We object to the felling of any trees on the Village Green

The developer has defined four trees as needing to be felled, which includes a mature Lime tree at the right-hand north corner near the river.  This tree has important amenity value and its removal should not be permitted, especially as it is to allow the expansion of the car park and the building of a pub/hub which is not required.

This has been confirmed by the TVBC tree officer in their objection:

Trees

This area of the village is highly prominent at a crossroad and the trees on this land are of high amenity value, which contribute greatly to the character of the area.

The submitted arboriculture information identifies that three trees, T3, T4, T5 and a hedge, H6 will need to be removed to achieve the proposed development.

T3 has been identified as an ‘A’ category tree and its removal has been highlighted within the arboriculture information as having a significant impact on the visual amenity of the local area and the wider landscape. The constraints of this tree need to be taken into consideration at the design stage so that the tree can be retained.

Objection to the loss of an ‘A’ category tree with high amenity value within the Monxton conservation

We object to any works that will have a detrimental impact on the Bus Shelter

Monxton Parish Council has owned the Bus Shelter for over seventy years as it was built by villagers in 1948.  There is no mention in the application regarding the Bus Shelter and the applicant has not approached MPC for consent to move it, which would be needed to enable the two proposed houses to be built on the present Bus Shelter site. There is not another suitable location in the village to relocate the Bus Shelter.

We object to the impact on the Monxton High Street and parking in the village

The two semi-detached houses at the front of the car park have their parking spaces sited directly on the High Street, which means cars will have to back in to or out of these spaces onto a very busy road which would be very dangerous for all road users. The number of spaces is inadequate, being only one per household, which will lead to even more vehicles parking on the High Street. In addition, cars and delivery vans exiting the proposed pub car park will have very poor sight lines and, therefore, reduced visibility of the traffic coming from either direction, which could cause serious road traffic accidents.

We object to the over-development of the site

The site is simply not big enough to support a pub with 15 car parking spaces, two semi-detached houses with car parking spaces for the occupants and a new site for the sub-station at the front of the green/car park. We also have serious concerns that, as to facilitate the proposed pub, the SSE sub-station would need to be moved and that it may get sited on the village green.  The drawing submitted is unclear on this point.

The application is contrary to the Monxton Village Design Statement

The Monxton Village Design Statement (VDS) was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance on the 5 May 2004 to help to provide the necessary guidance for appropriate change within the village. Any new development in the village should be informed by this document to ensure that it is carried out sensitively and in harmony with the setting and style of the village. The village context is summed up as “nestling in the valley of the Pillhill Brook between chalk uplands”. The VDS acknowledges that new houses contribute the character of the settlement, “Monxton is given its distinctive character by its pleasant mix of old and recently built houses.” The VDS sets out various Design Guidelines to which particular attention should be paid: • Any new houses should be built in similar style and scale to nearby dwellings.

The proposed two semi-detached houses are not in keeping with the neighbouring Listed thatched properties.

Village Survey

We have now reviewed the results of the village survey following the open evening on the 13th June 2019, which the developer attended to answer questions from the public.

The results show that there are zero % supporters, zero % not objecting and 100% of villagers object to the proposals. This clearly underlines the fact that whilst the developer has claimed villagers and MPC support their proposal, this is not correct, and their attempt to justify the proposal on the grounds that this development is community-led is false as, in fact, it has no support from either the villagers or the Parish Council.

Summary

TVBC should reject this application, which would cause considerable harm to the village landscape and character and would have a major impact on the village and is without any support from Monxton Parish Council or it’s residents.

Black Swan Planning Application

The Planning application for the Black Swan (ref 19/01229/FULLN) currently has a date for comments of the 14th June. However, it has been called to the TVBC Planning Committee by our Borough Councillor, Maureen Flood, which means that the new date for comments will be sometime in July/August and all comments received up to the day of the planning meeting will be considered.

Village Meeting – 13 June, 8pm

So villagers have the opportunity to attend the meeting/open forum on the 13th June at 8pm in the Monxton & Amport Village Hall and then provide comments either to support or object on the TVBC website and to the Parish Council.

Some villagers have commented that the application is somewhat confusing in that it mentions a village hub while also talking about a village pub. This confusion appears to be a conflation with a previous plan, which was supported by the Parish Council for a new village hall (aka Hub) on the Black Swan car park with this plan to build a new pub and change the current Black Swan building to a residential property.

Another clarification is that the developer has also used the term “relocation of the Black Swan” when in reality they intend to turn the current pub into a residential house and build a new building (pub) at the end of the car park, plus two houses at the front of the site. Normally they would need to get a change of use agreed by TVBC from pub to residential, which does not appear to be included in the planning application.

Villagers should note that Monxton Parish Council is currently neutral with regards to this planning application, despite the developer implying MPC support in their Design and Access Statement document. Monxton Parish Council (MPC) wishes villagers to advise whether they want to support this development and if not, advise any objections using valid planning grounds.

MPC suggests all interested villagers come to the meeting on the 13th June at the village hall as the developer will attend to address any questions.

MONXTON PARISH COUNCIL OPEN MEETING – 13 June

There will be a village open meeting facilitated by Monxton Parish Council at 8.00 pm on Thursday 13th June 2019, at Monxton Village Hall to discuss plans for the Black Swan.

This meeting is solely to allow villagers to review the following planning applications: 19/01230/LBWN & 19/01229/FULLN put forward by DC Li Builders and discuss any issues or concerns with Joe Li who will attend.

In summary, the plans are to convert the current Black Swan to a residential dwelling.

To build a new public house at the rear of the Black Swan Car park.

To build 2 new 2-bedroomed dwellings at the front of the Black Swan car park.

Villagers from Monxton and Amport are welcome to attend the session to discuss the proposals with Joe Li (the developer).

Any queries please contact The Clerk for Monxton Parish Council heather.bourner@googlemail.com or by telephone on 01264 773976

The meeting will be an open forum with plans laid out on tables with the developer from DC LI Builders attending to answer any concerns or questions villagers may have with their proposals.

In addition, the Parish Council will review the feedback from the meeting to inform the decision as to how it will comment on the proposals by either supporting, Not Objecting or Objecting to the plans with any planning issues.

We look forward to all villagers from Sunny Bank, Monxton and Amport attending.

 

Manor Farm, Abbotts Ann – Alpine Group

Monxton Parish Council Meeting – Tuesday 12 February 2019

7.30pm, Monxton & Amport Village Hall

We have invited the team from Alpine Group, who are currently based at Manor Farm, Abbotts Ann, to make a presentation of the plans for building a limited number of houses at the Manor Farm site in order to fund the move of the business to a new location in Andover.

If successful, this will end years of large steel lorries coming through Monxton causing noise, pollution and distress to residents, especially those on the High Street, Chalkpit Lane and Abbotts Ann Road.

The Parish Council is supporting this application in principle, subject to the details of the application being published.

We urge all villagers to attend this meeting and ask questions, so you can decide whether you wish to support or object the application. In the event you support the plan we need you to write to TVBC to support the application. Objectors will no doubt write with any concerns they may have with the plan.

As many of you may be aware the development is in Abbotts Ann parish, and AAPC are likely to object . The proposed development is outside the TVBC planning policy and as such will only be considered if Monxton villagers write in to support the plan.