Thornbury Community Hall Project

A new Community Hall for Thornbury – archive of progress and status

Update – August 2021

The Parish Council is delighted to report that we have now reached agreement on the long-running planning matters with Torridge District Council, allowing us to move forward on the two sites for both the old and new halls.

Old hall site

The Parish Council has been granted outline planning permission for two dwellings on the site of the derelict old hall, the adjacent car park, and a strip of land that is due to be transferred to the Parish Council under an out-of-court settlement. We are now working with our solicitors to move this legal work to a conclusion. A new valuation will be obtained, and in due course, the whole site will be sold to a developer. As a condition of this planning permission, we have entered into a Section 106 Agreement with Torridge District Council, whereby the nett proceeds from the sale of the site, after all legal and other costs, will be applied to the building of the proposed new hall.  This will give the new hall project a valuable “kick start”.

New hall site

At the same time, we have also renewed the existing outline planning permission granted in 2019 for the construction of a new community hall for Thornbury, on land that will be gifted to the village on the site at Windy Cross. This allows us 4 years to commence work on the site.

The new hall is intended to be the focal point for the whole Thornbury Hamlets community, both for charitable work, such as reducing social isolation, but also for lunches, parties and classes of all sorts. When we asked residents in 2019, as part of the Parish Plan update exercise, 80% of adults who responded said they would attend events at a new hall. A quarter of those who responded also said they would be willing to help with fund-raising, running a hall or organising events or classes.

The next step will be to develop the design of the hall, based on input received to date and experience of other local halls. We aim to hold one or more public meetings early in 2022, to allow residents to look at the outline plans, and to start engaging with those who are interested in supporting the project.

Thornbury Hamlets Community Charity

We have also completed the formation of a new charity for the community, which will take on most of the charitable activities  for the village. This will include the building, ownership and operation of the new hall, but in the shorter term, will also take responsibility for fund-raising and organising events in the village such as The Big Lunch and the Fun Day.

So, although we have reached a significant milestone on the road towards a new hall for Thornbury, there is much work still to do, and the involvement of the whole community will be essential to make it happen.

Update – March 2021

You may recall that Thornbury Parish Council was granted outline planning permission for a new community hall for Thornbury on a site at Windy Cross in June 2018. Since then, we have been progressing with our plans to sell the old hall site (with planning permission for two dwellings), and to put the nett proceeds towards the cost of building the new hall. This would happen under a so-called
Section 106 Agreement, recognising the linkage between these two planning applications. Our discussions with the Planning Department at Torridge DC have been ongoing throughout this period, but the Covid-19 pandemic has caused delays for all of the parties involved. We have therefore reached a new agreement with them as follows.

In order to allow sufficient time for the completion of the remaining legal and land transfer work relating to the old hall site and its sale, and for the design and detailed planning processes for the new hall to be completed, we will re-submit the planning application for the new hall (effectively resetting the clock), with a view to this being approved at the same time that the planning permission for the old hall site is granted. We have also agreed a period for each of these applications of 4 years for all reserved matters to be completed, and a further 2 years for practical start of work on site.  Our solicitors are confident that the outstanding legal matters for the old hall site can be completed in the near future.

We are also in the process of setting up a new charity, which has the objectives of fund-raising for, then building and running a new hall. Going forward, we believe that in the “post-Covid” period, there will be significant funding available at both the national and local levels for the regeneration of communities throughout the country who have suffered during the pandemic, and we expect that this will
contribute to the fund-raising needed for the new hall, as a focal point for the Thornbury Hamlets.

We will keep you updated on progress and very much look forward to the time when Thornbury can once again come together as a community.

Keith Hutchings, Chair, and Paul Taylor, Clerk of Thornbury Parish Council

Update – March 2019

From Keith Hutchings: “As Chair of the Parish Council, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that our outline planning application, to build a new Community Hall for Thornbury Hamlets at Windy Cross, has been approved by Torridge District Council on 1st March 2019. This is great news, after much hard work by many in our parish over a number of years. The decision regarding the development of the old hall site is still in progress, but we hope for positive news on that front in the coming weeks.

Of course, the next phase now starts, to raise the necessary funding from grants and other sources, and to create a detailed plan for the new building. To do this, we need to have input from the community about their preferences, as to what they would like to see included, and what they would like to do at the hall when it is opened.

In parallel, the Parish Plan Group has started a new project to re-visit the existing Parish Plan from 2012, and as part of this, will be issuing a new questionnaire to every household in the parish. This will include questions on this topic, as well as Environment, Transport, Health & Wellbeing, Communication and other local issues.

We are always happy to welcome “new blood” in these groups, so if you would like to contribute to the development of our community, do get in touch.  Thank you all for your continuing support, Keith Hutchings, Chair, Thornbury PC”

Update – June 2018

Thornbury Parish Council has re-submitted the planning applications for the building of a new community hall at Windy Cross, and the demolition of the old hall, and the building of two houses at Thornbury. The plans are unchanged from last year: the summary below expresses their view, that changes to national and local planning policy should mean that the proposals will be passed this time. Details and all related documents can be found by going to the Torridge Planning website and searching for “Thornbury”:
The reference numbers are: 1/0588/2018/OUT for the new hall site, and 1/0589/2018/OUT for the old hall site.
Comments in support of, or against, the proposals can also be made via the Planning website (you will need to register and log in), or by post to Torridge District Council.

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