| |

June 1996 Open Letter about Parish Development



Dear Parishioner,

The Parish Council has wanted, for several years, to start up projects to refurbish the Parish Hall and to replace the dilapidated and uninsurable Sports Pavilion with a new building of similar size.

For the Parish Hall, we want to provide modern toilets, better kitchen facilities, dry and enlarged storage, an improved staircase with easier access to the superb room above which would make a good meeting room, and a removable stage to allow the floor area to be expanded when the stage is not needed. The budget for this would be a minimum of £65,000. Limited grants may be available.

The design for a new pavilion has not been finalised, but the cost of a providing a new pavilion, with cost saving equipment and modern security features, together with the necessary services and disabled access is likely to be in the region of £200,000, Assuming we get the hoped-for grants, the Parish (as owners of the new pavilion) and the Sports Club (as users) between them are likely to have to find up to 50% of this sum.

The Parish Council has been building up reserve funds for the new pavilion, and at the end of the last financial year our funds on deposit were about £60,000. These funds are not enough to meet our expected contributions to the two projects described above.

The Parish Council also feels that the village would be enhanced by using the vacant plot next to the Parish Hall to provide between four and six high quality housing units which could be used, for example, for elderly parents of local people. We understand that some people are worried that a development on this site might be unsightly or out of character. The Parish Council too would not want an unattractive development on this site, and the planning process exists to make sure that this does not happen.

We have established that the site could be developed by a private builder or by a Housing Association. In either case the draft plans which we have seen look promising, and we might expect to realise (after costs) about £85,000. This would allow us to proceed with the two projects outlined above and might even allow some extras which we would like, and even a subpostoffice facility in place of the present Shawford subpostoffice which closes shortly.


Why are we having a Parish Development Referendum? – and why Now? 
Successive Parish Councils have committed to conduct a poll of the village before taking any final decision on the Parish Hall and its site. We want to have this poll now, and hopefully get started on the projects, because so many Hall users keep telling us how much they want new toilets, and because of the favourable environment for lottery funds for sports clubs which may not last in this format.

You will be receiving a ballot form in the post shortly. Please take the time to fill it in and return it using the supplied freepost address so that the Parish Council can take everyone’s views into account.



Adrian Walmsley, Chairman.