Isfield & Little Horsted

CASH CALLS: Isfield Village Hall could be in line for a significant extension and refit programme if its management committee is successful in a submission for funding to finance some of the cost, which could total up to close on £200,000. The management committee, an independent registered charity, was one of several groups expected to pitch claims at a meeting of Isfield Parish Council last night (Thursday) for funding being made available under Section 106 money for use by the village as a result of the Millwood Homes development on the old Army campsite in the south of the village. Briefly, S106 cash is money that developers of larger sites pay to a local authority to reduce the impact of the development. Developers sign an agreement as part of their planning permission. It is a legal document that specifies what the money is spent on and where. Typically, the money is used to make improvements to highways, parks, public transport and schools. Under preliminary proposals, the Village Hall would be extended to full height to its rear in part of the existing car park area to provide space for an additional activity/events room, additional storage, and a toilet for the disabled. It is also hoped that improvements could be made to kitchen facilities and existing toilets tidied. The committee was expected to say in its submission that the hall provides facilities for a wide variety of leisure activities for all ages and gives accommodation for a daily pre-school group, which it subsidies. The successful Monday to Friday pre-school group runs until around 2pm, thus precluding other activities there during the morning, although it provides some 40 percent of the hall’s income. Provision of additional facilities space would allow other groups to use the hall in the mornings and thus provide much-needed funds through lettings for the hall’s upkeep. At present the bill for self-funded maintenance runs to around £9,000 a year. Last Saturday the hall committee held an open day at which many of the hall’s user groups has stands to demonstrate to villagers the variety of opportunities of offer. Other submissions for S106 funding were understood to include proposals for improved outdoor play facilities for children in the village. In a recent edition of the occasional Isfield Newsletter, Geoff Sambrook, the parish council chairman, wrote: ‘At the last meeting (of the parish council) a group of residents proposed that some of these funds should be used to renovate and improve the children’s play area in the corner of the Recreation Ground. That same group are working to produce a concrete set if proposals.’ Alison Stevens, parish council clerk, said this week: ‘The agreement provides that Wealden District Council pays the S106 money to the parish council, subject to appropriate indemnification. So once the funds are secured any projects would need to be undertaken either by the parish council or in partnership with the parish council but must comply with the S106 agreement. The allocation under the Isfield Camp agreement is: £63,077.30 under Casual Informal (low key equipment such as boulders, carved timber poles, benches); £60,528.72 under Equipped (swings slides, climbing logs, matting and fencing around these areas); £43,903.50 under Youth/Adult.’ Whatever the final decision following last night’s bids, the outcome must be good for the village.

QUIZ NIGHT: Isfield and Little Horsted Bonfire Society will be holding its annual Easter Quiz at Isfield Village Hall on Saturday April 2. Tickets at £7.50 per person include supper, and are available from The Laughing Fish. Doors open at 7pm for first questions at 7.30pm. REMINDERS: March 20, volunteers wanted for spring clean of the ICE field behind The Laughing Fish (10am); Monday March 28, Tommy Trot Beer Race from The Laughing Fish (1.45pm), with children’s Lemonade Race (12.45pm) and Morris Dancing (3.30pm).

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