MCC Update April 2022

As we make steady progress towards the goal of commencing the building of the Mayfield and Five Ashes new community and health centre, the necessary background work is intensifying.

The design presented at the information event in the Memorial Hall at the end of November 21 is now undergoing the considerable detailing required for building specification purposes. This will form part of the ‘invitation to tender’ documents that will be issued to potential building contractors. It includes modifications to the kitchen to make it 50% larger than the kitchen in the existing Memorial Hall, plus the addition of an audio-visual gallery, which will be positioned at the south end of the hall.

A public building of this size and nature requires a number of specialist consultants, these have therefore been appointed and their reports are duly being fed into the planning application document.  This document will be ready to submit to Wealden District Council’s planning office within a couple of months or so.

The Parish Council will be the landlord of the new community and health centre and, as such, will grant Wealden District Council a tenancy for the health centre element. For rental valuation purposes, we have appointed healthcare property sector specialist, Stiles Harold Williams Partnership, which has extensive experience in medical centre valuation. And, to cover the legal aspects of the tenancy, we have appointed solicitors, Hempsons, to draw up a draft lease. The next step is for the legal documentation to be presented to the full Parish Council for ratification. 

The parish council is still keeping to the original £2.35m budget and Wealden District Council will be using their infrastructure fund to pay for the £1.8M needed to build the health centre. Within these budgets are contingencies that the project quantity surveyor has built-in to cover inflation costs for an estimated build start of the end of 2022. The budget is for the completion of the external and internal works of the building including the necessary landscaping of trees and parking areas.

A constitution of the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) was approved at February’s full council meeting and registration with the Charities Commission is in hand.  The charitable status will allow the CIO to apply for grants to fund items which are outside the building contract.

We are also looking into obtaining donations and grants to pay for the various fixtures and fittings that will better equip the new facility to serve the community. These funds are not for any work to the building but, for example, additional tables and chairs, new kitchen equipment and furniture for the community hub. In addition, regular hall users may want dedicated equipment. We are therefore asking anyone interested in becoming involved in fund-raising to please contact the clerk to the council (clerk@mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk) or telephone 01435 873784 for more information. The objective is to establish a small pro-active group of volunteers to be involved in the process. 

The next Parish information event is planned in Five Ashes towards the end of April subject to planning permission progress. We will post updates.

For further information visit the village website and Facebook and the MCC section of the Parish Council website www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk