The Vision for the Community Hub:
That the combination of a newly designed village hall, the green outdoor space and the new children’s playground will provide an all-encompassing central meeting place for families and residents, enabling events such as village fetes, children’s parties and family events (enhanced by the grassed area outside), together with the existing and new village hall activities.
Internal accommodation will be flexible enough to encompass existing social activities whilst providing space for new ones for an enlarged community. External space will be improved to include seating areas and some new landscaping, whilst retaining the existing football area.
The central village location will minimise the need for car usage, with the desire to keep parking as discreet as possible. It is the hope that this will become the social hub of the enlarged village which the present village hall, with its size and outside facilities constraints, does not allow.
Village Hall Proposals
The position of the new village hall, located on the Recreation ground, is shown in the diagram below.
Care has been taken with this location to minimise the visual and noise impact on neighbours. The building is 4 metres high at its maximum, compared to the 7.5 metres originally shown in this location 12 months ago. The building will be 6.5 metres from the boundary line (originally 3 metres), and shielded from view by arow of evergreen ‘pleached’ trees. Note that there is now only one public entrance, which has been moved to the side of the building, through the community coffee bar area, away from nearby residents. There is no longer even a small service entrance to the rear.
This revised location has meant that some of the wildflower meadow will be lost but this area will be relocated elsewhere on the recreation ground. The car park area now has a ‘sit-on grass mesh’ system surface, but otherwise is unchanged with footpaths separating pedestrians from vehicles. The glass roof to the corridor has been replaced by a solid roof and the building reduced in size.
The new play area will be within view of the community coffee bar area, as before, but the exact shape and position of the equipment is yet to be finalised. (updated 7/12/2017)
Following the survey of residents and an updated Feasibility Study, the Village Hall Trustees recommended to the Parish Council that a new village hall be built on the Church Road Recreation Ground, and the existing village hall sold to help fund the new building. The Trustees have advised that when the village hall is sold the contract of sale will contain a covenant to maintain the existing façade and original appearance. The new village hall on the Recreation Ground will be adjacent to the new children’s playground and will retain the existing football pitch for leisure use. No trees will be lost.
As a result of the expansion of Hauxton, S106 funds had been negotiated by South Cambridgeshire District Council and have been given to the Parish Council by Harrow Estates (the developers) to extend the existing village hall or build a new one in order to cater for the doubling in size of the village. A condition within the S106 legal agreement providing the S106 funds is that the developers must agree to the village hall proposals (to ensure they meet the needs of their new residents in addition to the existing residents of Hauxton). The Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC) is a Charitable Trust for the hall itself.
Plans had previously been submitted for planning approval for extensions to the existing village hall, but there were issues relating to car parking and the possibility of meeting future needs. Further consultations subsequently took place in 2015 with Hauxton residents (see below) and this application was put on hold and eventually withdrawn in February 2017.
An application for pre-planning advice was made to South Cambs planners in 2015 to consider the possibility of a new build hall on the recreation ground in the centre of the village. The response of the SCDC planner (responsible at the time) is here>> SCDC pre-app advice from SCDC. (PDF 287KB)
As part of the 2015 village consultation, the VHMC asked residents to vote on two options: either to extend the existing village hall to increase the space and improve the facilities, or to create a new facility on the recreation ground, uniting the space to include the new playground that is to be built, and creating a community hub. The residents of Hauxton voted in favour of the Recreation Ground.
On 18 May 2016 a special consultation meeting was held to present the parish council vision for the new Community Hub, consisting of the new village and and children’s playground. The displays consisted of initial ideas for the layout of the new village hall, car parking and playground on the recreation ground. Possible activities that could take place, given sufficient support from residents, were shown and views sought. South Cambs planners were in attendance for questioning.
(updated: 25 5 2016)
On 2 October 2016 the VHMC asked residents to vote at a meeting whether they gave the VHMC permission to sell the existing village hall. This would release funds to be used in the construction of the new village hall on the recreation ground intended as part of the community hub vision. At least 75% of residents were required to vote to give this permission for the sale to proceed. 315 residents voted; 238 in favour and 77 against, which was 75.6% in favour of permitting the sale.
On 14 March 2017, at the public display of the proposals for the design and location, feedback forms were completed by 97 residents on the evening with 88% being positive and 12% negative. The most popular comments related to the design and size (62%), location (18%) and the community benefit (11%). Just 6% were unhappy with the site.
(updated 12 4 2017)
A planning application for the new village hall was submitted in April 2017, but in June 2017 the Parish Council withdrew it. This withdrawal was prompted by the fact that the planners at South Cambs. DC said they could not support the new building because it was against the Important Countryside Frontage policy applied by them to the section of the recreation ground adjacent to Church Road. The Parish Council had pursued the submitted location as it was concerned about the building proximity to adjacent residents, but despite pushing this as far as possible, had to concede to the planners.
The planning application (S/2942/17/FL) was re-submitted in a new location on the Recreation ground, in August 2017. Additional impact assessments were made addressing noise and ecology matters in November 2017. Also at this time, more information was provided regarding current usage of the existing old village hall, and further revisions to the building design were made. Planning approval was granted by the full South Cambridge District council Planning Committee on 10th January 2018. This was a unanimous decision by all Committee members.
On 24 July 2018 the Trustees of the existing Hauxton Village Hall charity retired and the Parish Council was appointed as the Sole Corporate Trustee.
The old village hall was put on the open market for sale on 26 July 2018. It will continue to operate during the building of the new village hall to ensure a smooth transition for existing user groups.