Community hall for Westhampnett to move one step closer

Full planning permission is being sought for the 30 homes
Full planning permission is being sought for the 30 homes

Long-awaited plans for a new community hall in Westhampnett are set to move a step closer to fruition.

The desire for a community centre was identified in a survey back in 2005 and since then the parish council has pursued a number of options.

Back in 2008, Chichester District Council received £98,712 in contributions from the development of land at the former gravel pit off Stane Street for a new facility.

Then plans for 100 homes at the Maudlin Nursery site, off Stane Street, which was allowed on appeal in 2013, included the provision of a community hall to be delivered by the developer.

However, Westhampnett Parish Council opted to secure ownership of the land, receive a commuted sum directly and take control of the project.

Detailed designs for the community hall were developed and full planning permission was secured in 2016 and a preferred contractor selected.

CDC cabinet members will be asked to release the £98,712 of developer contributions to the parish council for the new hall when they meet on Tuesday.

The main hall would have a vaulted ceiling, single-storey reception area, kitchen and toilets.

The hall has been designed so that the roof height could accommodate a future extension if required to meet future growth in the parish.

The new facility would be the first community-owned venue in the Weshampnett parish.

Once all legal issues are resolved construction of the hall is expected to start in the autumn, according to the parish council’s website.

A report due to be discussed by cabinet members describes how the costs of the project are ‘significantly in excess’ of developer contributions available, but the parish council is using other sources of funding to implement the scheme.

Further development in Westhampnett, such as the strategic site at Madgewick Lane, is expected to make further financial contributions towards the enhancement of the planned community hall.