MCC Update – February 2022

The proposed design for the new Mayfield Community and Health Centre was unveiled to the residents of Mayfield and Five Ashes at an information event in November.  The majority of attendees provided us with feed-back – mainly positive – and a number of questions were raised. Here are a few of the most commonly raised points: 

Which combination of external materials proposed for the external elevations were deemed most popular at the Information Event on 27th November 2021?

By far the most popular design was option one which had sandstone at the health centre level, brick for the community centre and timber at the very top of the hall element.

Could the number of car park spaces be increased by moving the building slightly further north?

Moving the location of the building further north would incur greater costs. The aim, in order to minimise costs, was to site the new building on much the same footprint as the existing hall. However, in order to allow for two-way traffic alongside the hall the building had to be moved a few metres north, which has already incurred increased expenditure; moving even further north for little, if any benefit, does not seem worthwhile.

Why can’t there be a second vehicle exit so as to minimise traffic congestion?

The original feasibility study did suggest a second access between the bandhut and the telephone exchange. However detailed analyses combined with feedback from the WDC planning department, ESCC Highways department, ecology experts and even BT, has indicated that this is neither a viable nor practicable option due to detailed issues concerning cutting down mature trees, slopes and vehicle sight-lines, amongst others.

Will the proposed design adequately address the traffic congestion at school drop off and collection times?

Highway consultants have been retained to address the issues and they will recommend the optimum arrangements. Traffic flow assessments have already been made and the final design will reflect their recommendations. ESCC Highways Department are also involved in ensuring the best and safest solution.

The building appears to be rather large?

In fact the hall itself is exactly the same size at 230m2 (including the existing hall stage) and the height is exactly the same at 6.1m. The larger footprint of the new centre is mainly to accommodate the community hub which is the main new feature in the community centre.

Can the kitchen be made larger?

Yes, it can and will be made larger by removing the dedicated bar. This should take the area to 30m2+, which will be a 50% increase over the existing kitchen area.

Why is the project cost apparently so high?

Building material costs have increased by 15% over the last year alone and further increases may well occur. This has resulted in the overall cost of the community centre increasing by some £500k. Fortunately, owing to prudent budgeting and financial management by the parish council, the anticipated overall cost can still be afforded and with no further anticipated increase in the local council tax (precept) for this project.

Will more trees be planted to hide the car park from the meadow?

Yes. As many trees as possible will be planted to screen the parking area from the views up from Court Meadow.

Are sustainable sources of power being used?

The plan is to adopt all the more common sustainable solutions including solar power and ground source heat pumps.

Are sustainable building materials being used where possible?

This will be a requirement in the building specification.

We have published more ‘Q & As’ on the MCC section of the Parish Council village website and Facebook. For further information, visit , where relevant updates will continue to be published.