**VILLAGE HALL UPDATE**
The hall Trustees and the Parish Council are pleased to confirm that a planning application has now been submitted for the construction of a new hall on Harrow Meadow and three new homes on the existing site.
This has been the culmination of a lot of work, partly due to the constraints imposed on building in the Green Belt. There is a general presumption against new buildings in Green Belt and ‘very special circumstances’ have to be proved. In addition any building has to take into account ‘size and bulk’ and its impact on the openness of the Green Belt.
The final design (which can be viewed on Sevenoaks District Council’s website tries to emulate the recommendations made by the planning officer at SDC and reflects a Kentish barn type appearance, with a tiled roof and black weatherboarded elevations.
In addition the application includes the turning of the football pitch by ninety degrees. There will, literally, be a level playing field, for the first time!
On the current hall site, the issue was complicated by the fact that two thirds of the land is on the designated flood plain. The final design shows a terrace of three x three storey houses with gardens leading to the river. Application for current village hall site
The planning decision should be made early in the new year and then the hard work really begins. Fundraising will be a vital part of the project to ensure its success. This is where we need your help!
The anticipated cost of the new hall and alterations to the football pitch is estimated to be around £1.8m. Current funds held by the hall and Parish Council, plus the value of the current site assuming residential development, is around £800,000. Therefore, a further £1m is required. While the PC may have access to some funds through a Public Works Loan, this would have a (small) effect on the Council Tax. However we hope to raise funds through grants and fundraising activities before resorting to a Public Works Loan. With this in mind we are looking for volunteers to research grants, help with fundraising and organise publicity etc.
This is an important project for the village. If we cannot raise the money for this project, then it is very possible that Eynsford will be without a hall in the near future, due to structural issues with the current one. If you feel you can help, even if it for any an hour or two a week, please PM me or contact the Parish Council on firstname.lastname@example.org.