Chittlehamholt is set to undergo a transformative change, thanks to a substantial funding boost of just over £34,000. The development follows a decision made during the North Devon Council's Strategy and Resources Committee meeting, which took place on Monday, 6 November.
The allocated funds will be utilised for two vital projects aimed at not only improving the village hall but also ensuring its sustainability and environmental responsibility. A substantial portion of the funding will be provided through Section 106 (S106) contributions, highlighting the importance of community investment in local infrastructure.
The first project focuses on enhancing the environmental footprint of the village hall by installing solar panels with battery storage and an air source heat pump. These upgrades are designed to reduce the hall's reliance on traditional utilities, making it more environmentally friendly and economically viable. This approach addresses the challenges of sustaining the hall while embracing eco-friendly practices.
The second project aims to improve the hall's facilities, particularly in the area of sanitation. It will include the installation of water-efficient urinals and a new toilet suite, complete with a dedicated provision for disabled individuals with radar access. Importantly, these facilities will be accessible 24/7, serving not only those using the village hall but also visitors to the adjacent Launds playing fields and the community shop.
In recognition of the importance of these projects, the Action with Communities in Rural England Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund is contributing just over £7,000, covering the remaining funding shortfall.
Leader at North Devon Council, Councillor Ian Roome, says: "This investment not only enhances the village hall's infrastructure but also underscores the community's commitment to sustainable practices and accessibility. It is a step forward in creating a more inclusive, environmentally conscious, and self-sustaining space for the community to gather, celebrate, and connect.
Under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, contributions can be sought from developers towards the costs of providing extra community and social infrastructure as a result of the impact of new development in the area. These contributions can only be used for certain things, and are used primarily for public open space projects.