Hall gets village thumbs up but warning over finance

PUBLISHED: 12:55 20 July 2014

Archant

CARE needs to be taken when 
pursuing a new village hall in Congresbury, according to a parish councillor.

The idea of building a facility in King George V Playing Fields has been warmly received with 60 
volunteers saying they would 
be keen to help make the dream a reality.

A survey revealed this week that 81 per cent of people were happy to see the War Memorial Hall sold to raise funds and more than half accept the Old School Rooms being sold too.

But a covenant over the latter site could make that tricky.

When the Old School Rooms were purchased by Congresbury Parish Council from the then Avon County Council, a covenant was put on it meaning it must be retained for community good.

Parish councillor Arthur Hacking said the village could be left out-of-pocket if it needed to pay to challenge the covenant and even potentially an appeal for the new hall, if planning permission was not granted by North Somerset Council first time.

He said: “The whole concept is fine but with the financial consideration we need to be careful.”

More than 380 people replied to the village hall project team’s survey and the facilities that most people wanted to see included were a community bar or lounge, coffee shop, a main hall and fitness area.

Mr Sheppard, spokesman for the project team, said: “We have asked the Memorial Hall Committee and parish council to review what villagers have said and let us know how they want to proceed.

“We are looking to set up a meeting of key stakeholders within the next few weeks and to have an agreement in place by the end of September.

“The village hall will be an opportunity that won’t come around again and should have been sorted many years ago.”

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