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second sitting for new hall - Updated 22nd November 2016  

Second sittingThe New Village Hall "Project Team" were almost overwhelmed by the turnout for their "Update on Progress" meetings held at the Golden Pheasant last week.

Although the Thursday meeting was originally scheduled for 8 pm, the function room was full to capacity soon after 7:30 and late arrivals were directed to the bar to await the second sitting as a rapidly rescheduled first sitting was already in progress.

Fortunately this proved to be not too much of a hardship as it provided an ideal opportunity to sample David's selection of real ales and other beverages on offer at the Pheasant!
A full house for the third session on Saturday morning brought the total audience to somewhere around a hundred.

As the "second sitting" audience made their way into the auditorium, Peter Durrant and Clive Elderton, two of the current trustees of the Village Hall Charity were on hand to give an update on progress so far and to outline the problems and options for the construction of a new Village Hall for Farringdon.

Since the Folly was sold last year, Farringdon has been without a Village Hall, but proceeds from the sale passed to the Village Hall Charity which now has approximately £400,000 pounds to fund the construction of a New Village Hall.

While building is not likely to commence for some years, unless some progress is made, there is always the possibility that the Charity Commission may conclude that the provisions of the Village Hall Charity are not being met. If that were to be the case, the Commission could close down the Farringdon Village Hall Charity and transfer the funds to a similar charity which could be a neighbouring Village or somewhere much further away.

The Current Trustees are the Members of the Farringdon Parish Council, although the two responsibilities are distinct from one another.

Peter and Clive in full flow.There are some residents who believe there is no need for a Village Hall in Farringdon but the response from those attending the meetings in the Pheasant it would appear that the majority are in favour of a replacement for the Folly.

Whatever the final design a New Village Hall it will have to fulfil certain basic requirements, toilets, a kitchen of some sort and a social area that can be adapted for potential users and it must be accessible for all users to meet current or future regulations for public buildings. Last, but by no means least, there must be a clear plan for financing and maintaining the building in the future.

All the above requirements are essential but the first priority is to find a suitable site. There have been various proposals to site the New Hall in the Geographic centre of Farringdon, near the A32, on various parcels of available land around the village, hopefully donated by a philanthropic owner, or near the church.

In truth, the location of the Hall will depend on finding an affordable site, while the current funds could cover most of the construction cost, if the only option was to purchase of a plot of land suitable for a Village Hall at market prices, that would leave little or no money in the kitty for the construction of a new Hall.

The meeting is brought o a close

From the views expressed at the meeting there was considerable support for constructing a new Hall adjacent to the Church.

Peter Durrant has been in conversation with the Church and the Diocese and it appears that both are broadly in favour of this option which would benefit both Church and Hall. There is also a possibility that a site might be available on Church Land.

There is, as Clive pointed out, a snag. There are a number of mature trees around the only available area and current policy of the South Downs National Park (those with previous experience of the SDNP will not be surprised to find them featured in proximity to a snag!) is to refuse any construction work to take place within an area twelve times the diameter of the trunk of healthy trees.

This rather limits the available options and so it has been proposed that the Village Hall Charity should pay for a tree survey to establish exactly where the tree limits are. This would then give a clear indication if the area available would be sufficient to for a new village hall.

So there we have it, the project as it stands is on temporary hold until the tree survey is completed. If there is sufficient land available and all parties can come to an agreement, the project will move forward.

If the survey closes off that option, then the search for an alternative site will continue but in the mean time the Village Hall Project Team would welcome your views.

They are happy to hear from you on any subject relating to the New Village Hall although they would like your views on the options below.

  • Do we need a village hall?
  • Will you use a village hall & if so how often?
  • What will you use a village hall for?
  • Can you contribute time, energy or expertise to the project?
  • Where do you think the hall can or should be located?

Please respond to Peter and/or Clive

Should you have been unable to attend one of the three meetings and would like a "personal performance" then please get in touch via the links above

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