Why don’t we refurbish the existing hall, or re-build on the existing site already owned by the village?
A recent structural report by Rushmoor Engineering concluded:
“ The hall(s) are clearly demonstrating their age and appear to have come to the end of their usable life. It is expected that constant remedials and repair work will be required simply to keep the halls in continuous use, and these repairs will become more costly, and not resolve the underlying issues and defects with the structure, nor bring improvements to general serviceability such as improving insulation levels and reducing running costs.”
The problems in replacing the building on the same site are:
- Where does everyone go for up to two years? If they find alternative facilities outside Rowledge would we ever get them back?
- How would we build a new kitchen to the right size. There is not enough space on the site?
- How would we provide adequate outdoor space for Pre-School and Events?
- Would we get consent for a new hall with no parking on an awkward junction?
- How would we find space for a lobby with proper toilets and cloaks?
- Would it make sense to build a hall that is below minimum plan standards for Badminton?
Put simply, the existing hall site is far too small for a properly-designed new hall. What’s the point of building a new building that fails to address the deficiencies of the old one?
What will happen to the existing hall site?
The existing hall site will be sold for housing development for between two and four houses, subject to planning. There will be a covenant placed on the site to prevent it being used as a ‘gateway’ to the field behind. In any event, the village hall site is within the settlement boundary and the field behind is not. Despite being only a third of the size of the new Cherryfields site, it is worth well over twice as much because, in principle, house-building is allowed. This means that we can sell the existing hall on a delayed completion of a year or more, allowing us to continue using it until the new hall is ready.
What are the main advantages of building a new hall and is this a good location?
Main Hall Features:
- Regulation plan size for Badminton.
- Increased and flexible storage facilities for main tenants – particularly Pre-School.
- Stage that folds up into wall recess.
- Direct access and view over protected terrace and garden.
- Direct access to kitchen and servery.
Small Hall Features:
- Same size as existing with lofted laminated-oak-framed interior – something of an Orangery feel.
- Faces down School Road to reveal a modest but attractive presence.
- Veranda and terrace accessible from footpaths from Fullers Road
- Sliding glass doors out to terrace
- Much-increased storage facilities.
Link Block features:
- Draught lobby/ fire escape with access to all areas, including upstairs meeting room, without passing through any other space.
- Foyer serving both halls – could double as a bar during some events.
- Toilets serving both halls.
- Full kitchen with direct access to both halls and rear service area.
- Perfect location at the point of a triangle of central roads that serve all the other village facilities that surround the recreation ground: the churches; school; cricket, tennis and bowling clubs; the village shops and pub.
Close proximity of the primary school and pre-school allow single-stop parking from one or other location.
Is the parking adequate for maximum usage, and is the Cherryfields junction suitable for the increased traffic?
There will be on-site parking for 20 cars including 2 disabled spaces. In addition there will be on-site provision for 20 bicycles. The maximum usage is likely to be circa 100 people. The central location, very close to other amenities, will encourage walking and cycling. This already happens now with zero on-site parking. This is a replacement facility with a known pattern of use. Rowledge is flexible enough in its parking provision to rarely experience serious problems. The site is less than 100m from the only Rowledge public car park (the Recreation Ground car park with over 30 free spaces) and is close to a bus stop.
Sometimes these off-road arrangements may be exceeded and there could be some occasional increases in legal on-street parking - as there is for a wide variety of reasons in the centre of Rowledge. We are not a commercial organisation so the Trustees will actively manage parking numbers, e.g. not taking bookings for larger gatherings from out-of-area users.
How will you mitigate the near-neighbours’ concerns about noise?
The location is further away from most houses with heavy masonry construction, double-glazing and foyer arrangement preventing sound escaping to the outside environment. A music cut-off switch will be employed if hall fire doors are opened. The halls will have heat-recovery ventilation so it will be a condition of letting that no evening music is played with the doors open.
As part of the application we commissioned a Noise Impact Assessment which compared the predicted maximum sound levels to the average background noise over the same time periods. The report concluded:
"The predicted music noise level based on internal levels comparative to a busy environment with loud music.at the 2 most affected noise sensitive receptors are 6dB and 12dB below the
average measured background level during the 19:00 to 23:00. The above assessment and the proposed noise criteria outlined in Section 10.2 of this report, demonstrates music events of typically 95dB LAeq,15min would be acceptable.
Based upon previous experience this upper limit would be comfortably within the requirements for a venue of this proposed size and operation."
See the full report on the WBC planning web-site
Should we build on a green-field site that is designated ‘Countryside beyond the Green Belt’?
We shouldn’t build houses there, as the planning inspectorate has already determined. This is also what makes the site affordable for a Community Building. The whole site will go from being entirely private to entirely public with enhanced habitats for wildlife. The site is mainly laid to lawn so there is very little habitat lost. The gains will be from the extensive new native-species hedgerows enclosing the rear garden and all along the eastern boundary
How will the new hall be financed?
The Rowledge Village Hall Trust has assets worth over two-thirds of the total cost already.
Project Cost =£1,900,000
Construction costs = £1,540,000
Site Costs = £300,000
Professional Fees and incidental costs = £60,000
Cash reserves = £440,000
Existing Site Sale = £800,000
Grants (CIL, Surrey etc.) = £300,000
Fud-raising and/or mortgage = £360,000
What is the proposed time-scale?
- 18 months from March 2022 Planning Application to start on site, subject to planning consent.
- 12months to build
Have you made the effort to consult everyone in Rowledge?
We have had three public events:
- 30th August 2021 - Exhibition Tent at the Village Fayre;
- 16th October - Exhibition and public slide show in the Village Hall
- 6th November - Exhibition and public slide show in the Village Hall
- Posting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the Rowledge Residents e-mail list.
- 4-page full-colour leaflet hand-delivered to all Rowledge residents and surrounding roads.
- Private views of ongoing village hall exhibition on request over the next few weeks.
We estimate that we’ve had over 87% positive responses, willing us to move fast on this project.
Will the new building be sustainable?
See the Energy Statement included in the Planning Application. Exemplar facility aiming at net-zero carbon by use of :
- Large solar-panel south-facing roof on main hall.
- On-site storage batteries
- Heat pumps (ground or air sourced TBC) serving underfloor heating.
- Very-high levels of insulation and double glazing
- Heat-recovery ventilation.
- Air-tight construction.
- Day-lit spaces with all windows designed to control solar gain.