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Village Hall Project

LATEST NEWS – 26th April 2010

The Last Time The Hall was Re-built
Readers might like to find out about an earlier rebuilding of the Village Hall…please click here. There are some distinct similarities between each re-building- bad weather, grant applications…and quite a lot of teamwork!


16th April 2010

Good news! The Village Hall re-opened to users on the 1st April. After the handing over of the keys to Village Hall Management Committee and Parish Council representatives, Chris Edwards and Les Barclay, and a full briefing to members of the Village Hall Management Committee as to the operation of the Hall including the new boilers, security and power supply and other facilities and services, the Hall is finally back in use. The first users were the aerobics group who started up again that evening and were delighted with the new facilities. Other users are now returning including the Parish Council who were glad to be back in the village for monthly meetings after a period in exile in Purleigh.

The contractor is working hard to hand over the new rooms and entrance hall on 4th May and at the time of writing is on programme. With the Annual Public Meeting of the Parish Council being held in the Village Hall on 5th May and with the Hall to be used as a polling station for the General Election on 6th May everyone will have an early opportunity to visit the Hall and see the new facilities very quickly after handover. The Village Hall Management Committee is running an Opening Event on 15th May, see details elsewhere for what promises to be a good event.

The Project Team have taken a number of decisons during the course of the Project to carry out additional repair and maintenance works including refurbishing and re-lining the main hall floor, replacing failing gutters and downpipes and carrrying out some high level repairs and redocorations all of which should save the Village Hall Management Committee considerable maintenance costs into the future.

Do take a look at the “new” Village Hall, it’s there for all of us to use and now offers some great local facilities for anyone wanting to run an event or simply to turn up and enjoy participating with one of the user groups in the best accommodation we’ve ever been able to offer.

Please contact Philip Wakeling (01621 828244) for information about the Project or Chris Edwards (number elsewhere in the Beacon) for booking information.

Philip Wakeling


3rd April 2010


Les Barclay on behalf of the Parish Council and Chris Edwards on behalf of the Village Hall Management Committee accept the keys to the newly refurbished village hall from the builder, Haynes and Smith. The Village Hall is open for business again; first users were the Aerobics Group who “thought it looked great!”

Philip Wakeling


19th March 2010

It’s official! Following the Project Meeting on the 18th March we can now, at last, confirm that the Hall will re-open for users on the 1st April. The builders will still be completing their work in the new extension but the refurbished “old” hall, toilets, and kitchen areas will be available for use which should enable most if not all users to return to Cold Norton. Access, temporarily, will be via the side door to the main hall via the playing field across the newly made up, wheelchair and pram friendly path. The Project is expected to finally complete on 3rd May.

A meeting to hand the Hall back to the Village Hall Management Committee has been arranged for the 1st April together with a teach in covering the operation of the new energy efficient condensing boiler, the electricity control panel and security arrangements and everything else necessary to ensure a smooth handover and running.

Paul Guppy and Philip Wakeling inspected the Hall after the Project Meeting and were very pleased with the way the Hall is now looking and with the new facilities. The Parish Council is planning to arrange a viewing of the Hall from 7.30, prior to the Parish Council Meeting on 14th April. The Annual Public Meeting of the Parish Council in May, and we suspect the forthcoming General Election, will also provide a great opportunity to take a look at the new facilities. We very much hope that you will be pleased with the end result. Please contact the Village Hall Management Committee, contact details in the back of the Beacon for booking information.

More next month. In the meantime, please contact Philip wakeling (01621 828244) should you need any further information.

Philip Wakeling


6th March 2010

The new entrance hall and committee rooms in March- taking shape!

View of the side of the village hall showing the new windows, doors and extension:

Philip Wakeling


19th February 2010
In spite of the continuing bad weather the Village Hall project is progressing well. The main hall area will be handed back to village hall users from 1st April with the entire project now expected to complete in early May- which will enable the Hall to be used as a Polling Station if Mr. Brown calls the election for 6th May!

The Project Team are making small adjustments to the specification as the job progresses and as funds allow to make sure that we have the best possible result on completion. For instance, more internal doors are to be renewed to improve the appearance, the original gutters are now to be overhauled to cut maintenance in the future and we have just instructed a re-furbishment of the main hall floor.

The new Committee rooms are to be named the St.Stephens Room, the Beacon Room and the Norton Room respectively and will provide some great new space for user groups more of which will be able to occupy simultaneously. Please contact the Village Hall Management Committee for booking information.

The architect is preparing a “Donor Board” which will be displayed in the new entrance hall showing the names of the groups who provided grant funding including the National Lottery, Essex County Council, Maldon District Council, Garfield Weston, Exxon Mobil plus the names of all those people who bought bricks. In addition, the Village Hall Management Committee provided over £24,000 from fund raising over the past few years whilst the Parish Council has committed £20,000 to the project.

Paul Guppy, Chris Edwards and Philip Wakeling carried out a site inspection on Friday 19th February and were pleased to see the finished product begining to emerge. The newly plastered and decorated main hall looks much lighter, helped by the new windows and doors. Also the old, noisy heaters have gone to be replaced by new, much quieter and more efficient units powered by a new condensing boiler. The new wcs located off the hall mainly for the use of pre-school are now effectively complete and are looking good. They will enable pre-school to be self-contained in the hall whilst other events occur elsewhere. The new committee rooms are now almost roofed in and will complete after the main hall is back in use in April.

The project has been featured latterly in the Essex Chronicle and will shortly appear in an article in “The Oyster”, the magazine of the Rural Community Council of Essex who provided much useful advise in the early days of grant applications.


Philip Wakeling


15th January 2010

The project is proceeding positvely and from a site inspection after Christmas we had the first impression of what the new hall will look like with walls and ceilings re-plastered, new, more efficient and quiter heating and new lighting. That’s the good news! The not so good news is that due to a combination of a hitch with the hall ceiling, since resolved, and the weather the programme has slipped. We now expect the Hall to re-open at the end of April.

The main hall area will be complete in February however due to access difficulties and lack of car parking it was decided at a meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee to wait until final completion before re-occupying.

Financially the project remains on track with the Lottery now having made three substantial payments towards the construction cost and our other donor’s funds also now being tapped. Our thanks to all the groups and individuals who have contributed. Their names will be noted on a plaque to be placed inside the new entrance area, which on cost grounds replaces the buy a brick scheme.

The Village Hall Management Committee has decided to hold most hring rates at the old rates which users were used to paying and are now enthusiastically looking for additional occupiers. If you run a group looking for a regular venue offering great facilities or wish to start up a new group or club in the Village please contact the Village Hall Management Committee.

Philip Wakeling


8th December 2009

The project to extend and refurbish the Village Hall unfortunately hit problems almost from the off as when excavating the footings for the new meeting and reception areas the contractor found asbestos. We think that the material found probably arose from the demolition of the original village hall and, given the current regulations, the material had to be analysed and eventuallly removed with a large quantity of contaminated spoil to a safe disposal location. Inevitabley this cost a lot of money however both our own Project Team and the Lottery having re-run the figures are of the view that the project remains viable.

One consequence of the early loss of the project contingency sum is that some additional works to which we have not yet committed, including the construction of an outdoor children’s play area for pre-school children and the making up of the road in the vicinity of the Village Hall may not now proceed. Decisions will be taken in the new year subject to funding.

The good news is, however, that although the project is now two weeks behind largely because of the effects of dealing with asbestos removal, the Village Hall Management Committee expect to take possession of the Main Hall from the contractor on 15th January. A number of user groups are very keen to resume activities again in Cold Norton after a few months away and the VHMC are also now considering how to expand the use of the Hall and make full use of the new and improved facilities following final completion in April.

The Village Hall Project Group wish to acknowledge and thank all those who have contributed financially to the project to date including the Big Lottery, Garfield Weston, Essex County Council, Maldon District Council, Cold Norton Parish Council, the Village Hall Management Committe and of course many members of the public. We plan to install a plaque recognising finacial contributions to the project but wish to point out that the cost of installing personalised bricks is likely to more or less use the proceeds of “buying a brick”. This seems counter-productive and we are considering some other form of acknowledgement. We trust this is in order but if you have any concerns please make contact using the ‘Contact’ button above left.

Philip Wakeling


30th November 2009

The Parish Council approved the Project and it’s contribution by way of a £20,000 loan from the Public Works Board. This was subject to Lottery and VAT approval. We are delighted to announce that the Big Lottery Fund have now given their approval, having reviewed the proposed scheme, the tender report and the Parish Council’s matched funding proposals.

Tenders were received from a number of potential suppliers and the contract for the work has now been awarded to Haynes and Smith.

    • As at the end of October, the project is delayed by about 4 days. At this stage this is not material. The first phase including the completion of the works to the main hall will complete in January with final completion due in April
    • Asbestos has been found in some quantity in the excavations around the VH. This is having to be shipped away to a suitable site for disposal hence the contingency is effectively gone. As a result we don’t have any alternative at this stage but to put the outside play area and making up of the road on hold. We will review further as the project progresses
  • The pre-school group are considering external funding to make the outside play area feasible
  • The VH Management Committee are considering the Lottery milestones to improve access and use of the hall to all groups following completion
  • Views are being sought re: placing a time capsule under the new extension


For a view of what the finished development will look like please see the picture below:


Planning Applications

Details of planning applications can be accessed through the Maldon District Council website, by clicking the button below or contact them on 01621 854477.

Residents can comment on any planning application (comments must relate to planning issues) by writing or email, please click on the Guidance button below for further information.