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Proposed new Mayfield Community Hall & Health Centre

Public Consultation

Please note: The questionnaire and background notes were sent to all eligible households on Monday 2 December. 

Background

The desire for a new community hall in Mayfield to replace the Memorial Hall has been around for some years with a number of abortive attempts to make something happen. The challenge still exists but is now more pressing due to the concern regarding the structural soundness of the roof, together with the general state of the existing building. In parallel there is a need to find a new site for the GP premises since the existing premises at Woodhill do not meet current NHS standards.

Recognising the potential advantages and synergies of a combined community and health centre, the Parish Council instigated a feasibility study in 2018. This concluded that funding would be the critical factor and that it was not viable for the Parish Council to proceed alone. Following discussions with Wealden District Council, the new health centre part of the proposal, could be funded via their infrastructure-funding programme at no cost to the parish. However, the sums involved for the community section of the project would still be considerable. Research has indicated that significant funding from the likes of the National Lottery and Sport England would be negligible as would other potential grants and donations. Hence the only significant source of funding is via a loan which requires a public consultation in order to determine whether there is sufficient support from the community. With positive support from this public consultation we believe the combined Community and Health Centre project would be viable.

New Community Centre

The existing Memorial Hall in Mayfield is now over 60 years old and will require expensive major structural repairs in the next five to ten years. The parish council has spent considerable time and effort in trying to find a viable solution and following a feasibility study in 2018 a new community centre to replace the existing hall is being proposed.

The plan is to create a viable project to realise an asset of significant stature and endurance for the Parish which meets the expressed needs of the community, is affordable to build and sustainable to operate. The new centre would be located as shown in Figure 1 in Annex 2 and the proposed accommodation would include a main hall with suitable storage and stage area, café area, meeting rooms and offices, generous entrance lobby / foyer, suitable changing rooms and a terrace area to the east of the building.

The current estimated building cost of the community centre project is expected to be in the region of £2.1M to which must be added architect’s and other professional fees (£250k) and fixtures and fittings (£150k) resulting in a total of £2.5M. A 15% contingency is being assumed. It is anticipated that £530k of the total project cost will be raised by grants and donations. The remainder would be raised via a £2.35M loan on a fixed interest rate of 2.9% from the Public Works Loan Board repayable over twenty five years. It is proposed that the loan be repaid by an increase in the annual parish council precept which is collected as part of the annual council tax by Wealden District Council. This will necessitate the annual parish council precept being raised from £56 pa to £124 pa for a Band D Council Tax property for the period of the loan. A table showing the estimated increase in the parish council annual precept for each council tax band is given in Annex 1 attached.

New Health Centre

The existing Mayfield GP practice in Station Road does not meet current NHS standards and new premises need to be found as a matter of some urgency. A new health centre would allow many more services to be offered, in attractive premises and meet the current NHS standards. Various sites within the village have been investigated by the GPs and the Parish Council, but no sites or suitable premises meeting the GP’s requirements within the village have been found, other than the possibility of using Court Meadow.

As things stand, Wealden District Council is prepared to fund the cost of building the new health centre at no cost to the parish.

Given that recreation is all about health and wellbeing the synergies of having an integrated community and health centre in Court Meadow are clear. However, owing to the integrated nature of the project it would not be appropriate to proceed with the health centre alone in Court Meadow.

Diagrams

Diagrams of what the new community and health centre might look like are shown in Annex 2, but note that these are purely illustrative and may well change once architects have been appointed. If the parish decides to go ahead as a result of this questionnaire, then architects will be appointed in Spring 2020 with formal design proposals presented to the village in Summer 2020. Note that it is the intention to minimise any intrusion into the existing grass area of Court Meadow but that, if any recreational space is used by the new building, it will be compensated for by opening up unused land within Court Meadow such that there is no nett loss of mown grass recreational area. On completion of the project the parish council would undertake a pledge to not allow any further encroachment into Court Meadow.

The next steps

In order for the parish council to obtain a loan it has to have sufficient support from its residents via a public consultation. To this end the plan is to have a two phased process namely:

Part 1 Public consultation (ie this document)

This is to determine the amount of support for the proposal, in principle, of building a new combined community and health centre in Court Meadow and to increase the precept / council tax to fund the loan repayments. The outcome of this consultation should be available in late January 2020.

Part 2

If there is sufficient support from the initial public consultation, then architects would be appointed in Spring 2020 with a view to producing detailed plans which will be shared with the village for comment in early summer 2020.

Open Days are to be held at London House, High St., Mayfield on Saturday 7th December 2019 and at the Memorial Hall, Saturday 4th January 2020, both from 10am – 1pm, where visitors can see the initial illustrative diagrams, and obtain more information about the rationale for the design and location, and to discuss any questions that there might be.

Questionnaire

Any requests for clarification regarding this supporting document or the questionnaire should be directed to the parish clerk at clerk@mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk.

Annex 1

Increase in Council Tax required to fund Loan repayments

[3.5 % increase in the overall council tax bill based on 2019-20 figures]

Precept   Council tax
Council band Band D ratio Current precept £ pa New precept £ pa Increase £ pa Increase £ pm Current council Tax £ pa New council tax £ pa Increase £ pa Increase £ pm Council tax increase %
A 6/9 37.04 82.60 45.56 3.80 1310.9 1356.46 45.56 3.80 3.5
B 7/9 43.21 96.36 53.15 4.43 1529.39 1582.54 53.15 4.43 3.5
C 8/9 49.38 110.12 60.74 5.06 1747.87 1808.61 60.74 5.06 3.5
D 9/9 55.55 123.88 68.33 5.69 1966.35 2034.68 68.33 5.69 3.5
E 11/9 67.89 151.39 83.50 6.96 2403.31 2486.81 83.50 6.96 3.5
F 13/9 80.24 178.94 98.70 8.22 2840.28 2938.98 98.70 8.22 3.5
G 15/9 92.58 206.45 113.87 9.49 3277.25 3391.12 113.87 9.49 3.5
H 18/9 111.10 247.75 136.65 11.39 3932.70 4069.35 136.65 11.39 3.5

 

Note: The parish council precept figures above represent just 3% of total council tax. The total council tax figure that householders pay includes the costs of running not only the Parish Council but also Wealden District Council, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue.

Should there be an increase in these other elements, then there would be an additional increase in total council tax over and above the parish council precept increase but, at the time of the consultation, the size of any increases from these other bodies is not known.

Annex 2 Illustrative Diagrams

Figure 1: A possible floor plan also showing building location and parking

Figure 2: Illustrative diagram showing elevation looking to the west

Online Questionnaire

If you have been sent a questionnaire but wish to submit online please make sure you have your reference number to hand and follow this link.

NOTE: The questionnaire is only open to those on the electoral register as of 1 November 2019.

Document downloads

There are a number of background documents listed below you might find useful and which are available for download.

 

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