The “old” village hall has been fenced off and demolition will shortly commence.
The MVH Trustees and PC have been assured by Croudace that the necessary surveys have been completed, and whilst asbestos has been identified as a complication in demolishing the old hall, all necessary steps will be taken to ensure the methodology adopted meets all relevant standards, so as to safeguard the public as well as occupiers of the houses nearby.
We have been assured that like a lot of such buildings built in the late 50’s and 60’s finding the presence of asbestos is not unusual. As set out in many authoritative publications we are also told this is not a risk to health providing it remains undisturbed. Over the many years of use therefore the presence of asbestos in the hall structure should not have been a problem for any user or anyone living locally.
The important issue now is that on disturbing the asbestos it is handled by authorised and competent contractors using the right equipment and processes for its removal from site. We have been informed by Croudace that arrangements have been made to ensure this is the case. Locally therefore we are likely to see stringent safety precautions and working practices implemented. It is important therefore that no-one interferes with those measures nor seeks to gain access to the old hall or adjacent land area within the fenced off perimeter whilst demolition is in progress.
We would like to have a photographic record of the hall being demolished, as indeed we know a lot of villagers would like for historic reference. However due to the nature of asbestos and the necessary safety precautions in its removal access to take photos is not likely to be possible.
We emphasise therefore that observing the safety restrictions and not accessing the old hall must be respected, for the safety of everyone.
The MVH Trustees and PC have had a changeable week – yes, it happens.
Early in the week the snooker table successfully moved to the Interim MVH and looks good, set up for play with new lighting, cloth and cushions, photo attached. The skills of the lorry driver using the crane achieved the objective of moving the large Container to its new location adjacent to the Interim MVH and next week the area alongside will be stoned so as to form a nice spot for those attending the Interim MVH and Social Club to drink and chat with picnic type tables delivered asap.
Players moved from the existing MVH to the Interim on Wednesday and Thursday which was achieved very smoothly – a bit like a star performance!
The photos attached show the fit out of the Social Club to make it ready for opening and the result of PreSchool moving. Further comment is decidedly superfluous here, looking good! We have achieved a great outcome and facility and this is just the Interim MVH…………………….new MVH to follow.
The PC store has met its objective and so well racked out, floor to rafters by Croudace this absorbed even more of Users gear than was optimistically thought attainable though the MVH/PC expectations were of course higher - and Croudace met them.
Later last week suffered a little downturn in progress as the CBC Buildings control and Fire Service indicated a preference for additional requirements - all in a new building built for purpose. Croudace, MVH, PC and Wernik the building supplier worked well with them and all have been very practical to ensure a safe building ultimately with minimal changes other than the entrance ramp which will have rest points for disabled or wheel chair visitors to the Interim MVH. Although not a formal requirement in the winter months bins will be provided with salt or grit to help provide good footing so care will be needed to minimise the cleaning of the Interim MVH – please!
The delay caused by CBC meant not being able to open the Social Club last weekend coming and with the entrance way to adjust for disabled works nor this weekend, all frustrating but essential we get the optimum facility for everyone’s safe use and signed off.
We are conscious that the deferred opening has caused inconvenience to the Users and Hirers but been very pleased at the flexibility shown to work with us, and flex so as to use the existing MVH. The Social Club has adapted incredibly well to helping out Users in this respect.
Croudace have continued to be very helpful in providing assistance in the move, as well as transport for the User’s gear between the existing MVH and the Interim MVH, (larger van this week!) whilst working closely with the MVH Trustees and PC to ensure the best possible outcome for all concerned.
The effects of Croudace completing the turfing and landscaping adjacent to the access road and Interim MVH has been transformative, with real grass and foliage presenting an impressive backdrop, car parking and usable area adjacent to the Interim MVH.
The Crackle Hill pathway has been nearing completion for a couple of weeks as well as lighting but been delayed by service providers before completing the final works i.e. to avoid the situation of one utility digging it up on Monday and makes good, then another does so on Tuesday and Wednesday etc. We will get there – but the latest scheduled time frame is end of September 2017. Croudace have confirmed they will make sure the pathway is usable in-between times when the Interim MVH opens and with a good pedestrian access. The final tarmac coating will therefore be delayed.
The Bottle Bank Recycling bins will be moving in mid/late September to a spot near to the Interim MVH. They will continue to be accessible there except for one week planned to be in half term in October as it will be necessary to close the access road for essential works, details to follow in due course. MVH+PC+Croudace are working to minimise any disruption to access at the weekends (or Mondays……) in particular.
The liaison between MVH+PC and Croudace to address concerns arising on site, from local residents, and practical issues has raised some humorous as well as very practical issues and we have sought to find solutions. Inevitably working together there have been some compromises, but all have worked to everyone’s advantage in the end.
As always any queries please email;
Meppershall Village Hall Trustees
Meppershall Parish Council
25th August 2017
The MVH Trustees and PC continue to be very pleased with the progress made on site, in particular as evidenced by the Interim MVH and PC Store now being available for Users to move in during this week and next. We have had excellent feedback on the quality of the building, and its fit out.
The photos attached show the Social Club and PreSchool moving earlier this week, and next week the Snooker Table and Players will be doing the same, as well as other Users.
Croudace have been very helpful in providing assistance in the move, as well as transport for the User’s gear between the existing MVH and the Interim MVH, whilst also working with the MVH Trustees and PC to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned.
The Social Club will be reopening shortly, and the photos attached show the standard of their new facilities comprising bar, store, seating area and importantly windows with daylight too. The bar will have the whole range of beers and drinks normally provided and periodically some special nights too.
The PreSchool facilities are planned to be ready in the week before term starts, and will provide enhanced outdoor space, privacy for consultations and discussions between staff, children and parents, not previously available, as well as storage as shown in the photos attached. The outside play area will include not only play but also garden areas to help the children develop their cultivation skills and enjoy their time without having to leave site. The PreSchool have kindly agreed to look after the four flower planters which will move to the Interim MVH too.
Croudace have completed much of the turfing and landscaping adjacent to what will be the new access road to the Interim MVH and parking areas catering for some 22+ cars. The effect is impressive and transformative.
The Crackle Hill pathway is nearing completion with tarmac being laid shortly, as well as lighting for the dark mornings and evenings during the autumn through to spring. This will be a very good access route for walking to the Interim MVH.
The new MVH had its floors laid to concrete earlier this week, and shortly the next phases of brickwork and construction will progress. The hoarding being put up around the work is for safety purposes, but soon the building will rise above that and become clear to see.
The existing MVH will be vacated towards the end of August 2017 or early September 2017, following which surveys and evaluations will be carried out to derive the best methodology for dismantling and removing from site. This is more particularly described in the summary prepared by Croudace [Click for details]. The new access road will then be constructed, whilst keeping a route open to the Interim MVH and residential construction site for all but about a week of that process. All concerned will be kept informed as to any limitations during that time, with the aim of keeping disruption to a minimum.
Croudace are planning to have the residential show houses available during November/December 2017 so it is important that for visitors the interim MVH is also performing to its best, providing a welcome and indicative view of what the new MVH will comprise in around a year’s time when it is finished and handed over. The social Club bar and Users Group representatives being available can of course help in that.
The liaison between MVH+PC and Croudace to address concerns arising on site, from local residents, and practical issues has sought to find solutions to pretty much work for everyone. Inevitably there have had to be some compromises, but not many.
As always any queries please email
Meppershall Village Hall Trustees
Meppershall Parish Council
16th August 2017
The MVH Trustees and PC have had an intense time and quickly changing expectations in the last three weeks, and frustrations too.
The final consents from CBC and Ofsted as well as Bar Licencing have this week come through. So following several telecons, emails and a detailed negotiation over the last couple of weeks and a meeting with Croudace HQ and Legal Dept. yesterday morning we have today been able to sign off and complete the Interim MVH lease and PC Store licences in a form that is satisfactory and appropriate for us.
Croudace have carried out a lot of work to make the entrance way, outside areas and landscaping very attractive, and completed the internal works required. The phone line is now connected with Internet, same number as before.
The entrance way is now fully compliant with disabled access and fire regulations. Smoking must not take place outside the entrance/exit door nor on the pathways. A smoking shelter has been provided. Two picnic type tables/seats are being delivered imminently for the Social Club members and MVH users to use, which will be situated adjacent to the entrance way path in the shingled areas so should be pleasant to use on a sunny afternoon or during the evening. The final movable partitioning should arrive next week so as to segregate off the snooker table and Social Club area from the main hall thus enabling multi-use with privacy and noise abatement.
We met with the PreSchool ladies and the Social Club (Graham Walker) this morning to formally confirm their requirements and needs are fully met so they can be operational asap.
So following those discussions this morning we completed the final sign off of the Interim MVH and PC Store documentation and both buildings have now been taken over by us. We have the keys!
The Social Club will be opening this evening, PreSchool will move their remaining equipment during Friday, and be operational on Monday next week, with hirings, future functions, events, all then operational in the Interim MVH.
There are a couple of matters in hand:
a) Crackle Hill Path is now tarmacked as an access route, and lighting bollards will be installed in the next couple of weeks.
b) Additional signage is to be erected at the entrance to Crackle Hill Path and the existing MVH roadway, indicating the route to the Interim MVH.
Inevitably there will be matters that arise as we gain experience from use of the Interim MVH, and we can address those as we go along.
The photos show the current position and are well worth reviewing along with those attached to the previous updates.. They show the changes that have been made. We have achieved a great interim facility …………………….the new MVH is to follow in a year or so’s time and progressing well.
We are conscious that the deferred opening has caused further inconvenience to the Users and Hirers who have been kept fully informed and flexed to work with us. This has been appreciated through times where we have been reliant on third party Regulators to take actions. Croudace have continued to be very helpful and worked closely with the MVH Trustees and PC as well as Regulators to ensure the best possible outcome for all concerned. Inevitably deferrals of opening and finally vacating the existing MVH have not helped their construction plans and of course incurred costs for everyone.
Meppershall Village Hall Trustees
Meppershall Parish Council
20th September 2017