New village hall in Lincolnshire granted approval... after 10 years
A NEW village hall which has been in the planning for more than 10 years, has now been granted approval.
Mareham le Fen Village Hall management committee has received the go ahead to build a new village hall on land at Glebe Field, close to St Helen's Church.
The current village hall on Main Road is a second-hand ex-MoD army hut which has been in place for more than 92 years and is fast reaching the end of its life.
The new village hall will have its own car park and a green open grassed area will be maintained for community use.
Graham Beacham, chairman of the management committee said: "Despite the fact the village has grown considerably it is with regret that the well-used facility has not been able to sustain the growth. The tin and timber construction has reached the end of its life capacity and a search started to find an alternative site.
"The chosen site lies at the heart of our village and is accessible on foot. It is the most sustainable location."
The current hall has no associated parking and is on a busy main road.
The new hall will have a good sized kitchen, meeting rooms and a waiting reception area.
The building project could cost in the region of £300,000-£500,000 subject to grant applications.
The application had been recommended for refusal by East Lindsey planning officers.
English Heritage had objections that the proposed scheme would cause substantial harm to the setting and significance of St Helen's Church.
Planning officers were also concerned about the location of the proposed car park and it's proximity to residential properties.
The application had received letters of objection but also letters of support from residents and organisations including MP Sir Peter Tapsell and St Helen's Church PCC.
Mareham le Fen Bingo club submitted a petition in support from its 26 members.
District ward councillor Janet Harrison said: "The current village hall has neighbouring properties and people using the hall have to park on Fen Lane outside residential properties. No complaint as far as I am aware, has been received about noise."
Councillor Steve O'Dare proposed approval, saying: "It is going to increase the quality of life for residents and provide facilities for the village."
Councillor Fiona Martin said it is an "absolutely ideal" site.
She said: "I have been in the old village hall, some time ago now, and even then it was not fit for purpose."
Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders objected to the design which she described as "pedestrian."
She said: "This does not do justice for a village as pretty as Mareham le Fen."