Plans to build a new village hall in Debden will go ahead after grant is re-confirmed

PUBLISHED: 10:21 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:26 03 July 2017

Trust members are celebrating after securing grant money from the Ministry of Defence to build a new hall in Debden. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Trust members are celebrating after securing grant money from the Ministry of Defence to build a new hall in Debden. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Photo 2017

After years of uncertainty, plans to build a new village hall in Debden will go ahead.

After years of uncertainty, plans to build a new village hall in Debden will go ahead.

This June, two groups, which were previously at loggerheads over where to place the new venue, have agreed with Debden Parish Council that the new hall will be built on the site of the current sports pavilion.

Originally, the Recreation Ground Trust (RGT) supported plans for the current hall to be knocked down with a new one built on the existing site.

In contrast, the Village Hall Trust (VHT) argued it would be in the interests of the village shop and sub-post office to build opposite the current hall and back onto the sports field using a piece of the car park.

Plans were supposed to be decided on earlier this year ahead of a £236,400 grant funding deadline from the Ministry of Defence, but neither group managed to reach an agreement.

Now, in light of recent talks, the funding has been reinstated and the Armed Forces Covenant Charitable Trust will contribute to the build.

Lt Col William MacDonald RE, who recently retired as Commander of the Group Support Unit (GSU) at Carver Barracks, welcomed news of the agreement.

“The new village hall is an outstanding example of initiatives that the Army is keen to support to bring military and civilian communities closer together. I am sure that all parties will now work together in that spirit to get the hall built as quickly as possible.”

The parish council, which owns the pavilion, says the building can be demolished as soon as the VHT has raised the remaining funds.

It is hoped the foundation stone will then be laid in November 2018, with both trusts and the council meeting regularly to ensure the project runs smoothly.

A new sports pavilion is due to be built on the recreation ground.

Roger Forster, chairman of Debden Parish Council, said: “Carver Barracks’ support for our new village hall project and the Army’s generous grant towards the cost means that after many years of trying, our ambition to provide this much-needed new community facility will be achieved.

“The council, village trusts and volunteers, with the support of the community, will work together to get the job done.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter