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The Welney Website

proposed Community Hall
planning application to be submitted

Report first posted Feb 2010, page amended/updated Monday, 19 September 2011
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FEB-APR 2010
This is the 2nd of a series of reports by the webmaster on the  new community building proposed by the Parish Council.
You can dip into any of them, but to get a clearer understanding the reports are best read in date order as shown at bottom right of this page.

These are the existing buildings
click image for large view
Below, the Parish Hall
Parish Hall
below, the Pavilion
Council to proceed despite opposition

At a meeting of the Welney Parish Council on 2nd February 2010, the Council decided to proceed with a controversial application for planning permission to build a new "Community Hall" on the Playing Field, in the north-east corner which the Council refer to as the "top left hand corner".

The new building would replace the existing Pavilion and Parish Hall and provide much needed "21st century" facilities within the Parish. The scheme includes a new gravel access road from Hurn Drove along the northern edge running the full length, and within a couple of feet of, a private house and garden, with a gravel car park alongside.

Before the meeting and during it considerable opposition to the chosen location was expressed by a number of parishioners. Briefly, the main points of concern were:
  • Land lost to the new building, road and parking would considerably reduce the area for outdoor events and sports, particularly cricket and football.
  • Vehicles on the parking area could be damaged by cricket balls and glare from windscreens would be a hazard to cricketers.
  • Scheme was not properly costed.
  • Access road and parking would result in loss of privacy and noise disturbance to residents of Nursery House.
  • Costs of access road, parking and utility services would be avoided if the existing pavilion site was used.
  • Access on foot would be far too long for some potential users to manage.
  • No provision for the promised childrens play equipment area.
  • Council had voted twice in 2007 to build on the pavilion site but had never voted for the currently proposed location.
The Council chairman said the planned development will cost "£200,000 plus 10% contingency", but no breakdown was given despite requests from parishioners.
If you have visited this page before you may need to "refresh" the page to see the latest version. Also, please "allow blocked content" (if prompted) to view correct layout & features.
(Both notes apply to all pages).

Below are the architects drawings
click to view a much larger view.
Below, general site plan new hall plans
below, floor plan & elevations
new hall plans
below, access road & parking
new hall plans
Text and photos © Peter Cox.
Drawings of proposed plans by
Peter Humphry Associates from the BCKLWN website.

If you think this report is incorrect, incomplete or unfair, please e-mail the webmaster, and your response will be added.
Over the last six years the Council have stumbled along with much hope but little chance of success. Even if the application is approved, they have virtually no chance of raising sufficient money to proceed, and their continued refusal to replace the childrens play equipment (with funds given to them in 2004) until a new building is in place, however sensible it may seem to some, has dismayed many parishioners and discouraged further fund raising efforts for any Council project.

The Council's own fund raising idea, a 'Sausage Supper' in 2009 was a flop and actually lost money. See Council's minutes for April 2009 and May 2009. 

As regards the choice of location, the following is what seems to have happened:
  • November 2007. Council voted for a new building on the site of the existing Pavilion following a poll of parishioners and discussions of the pros and cons of various options. A working party was set up to discuss further.
  • December 2007. Working party presented report to Council. Council accepted the findings and again voted to build on the Pavilion site.
  • March 2008. Council discussed a variety of alternative sites and ideas, but made no mention in their minutes of the previous votes or why they wanted to re-open the matter. They decided to have a site meeting at the Playing Field.
  • April 2008. Chairman reported the site meeting to Council. According to the minutes he said "there was room for the building in the top left hand corner of the field and everyone was happy with this". The minutes added that "it was hoped there would be sufficient room ...... for the Children's Play Area".  The minutes do not record that any discussions followed the Chairman's statement.
  • 2nd February 2010. Council decided to apply for planning permission "in the top left corner" despite the objections and that they had never voted to do so. And, without provision for a childrens play area.
  • 11th Febuary 2010. A hastily arranged special meeting was called "to ratify" an unrecorded, un-minited decision they claim to have taken on an unspecified date "to build in the top left hand corner".
If none of the Councilors remembered a decision they made at the previous meeting when they approved the minutes a month later as a correct record, it does seem odd that they all suddenly remember nearly two years later.
Related pages on this website
Jun 2006 New Hall plans announced.
Mar 2010 Planning application
May 2010 Permission refused
Dec 2010 Re-application
Mar 2011 Re-application revised
May 2011 Permission granted
Welney Parish Hall
Playing field & pavilion
Children's play equipment
Related pages on external websites
Original application
Re-application, Dec 2010
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