Charminster village at war over divisive village hall plans

A leaflet from developers Wyatt Homes outlining their proposals for a new village hall

Mark Simons chairman of Charminster parish council

First published in Dorchester by

AN ARGUMENT has broken out between Charminster’s parish councillors and village hall trustees over plans for a new village hall within a 70-home development.

Developers Wyatt Homes met with residents in June to find out which community facilities they wanted to be included in their proposed development for land at Charminster Farm.

They proposed building a new village hall with 30 dedicated parking spaces on Weir View, along with a village green, tennis court and turning area for parents dropping their children off at St Mary’s School to ease congestion on surrounding roads.

As part of ongoing discussions with Wyatt Homes, Charminster parish council distributed a survey to gain residents’ views on the plans, but village hall trustees circulated a flyer to homes urging residents to oppose the proposal in its current form and accused the council of ‘endorsing’ the development.

In the flyer, the trustees said: “We do not support the proposal for a new hall. We do not wish to see our village hall, in the heart of the community, destroyed.”

They said Wyatt Homes’ proposal for a new hall ‘is to encourage a planning approval on a site that is outside of the village development boundary’.

Trustees also claimed they were excluded from discussions between the council and Wyatt Homes about the hall.

Mark Simons chairman of Charminster parish council, said the council was not ‘promoting’ the development, but the new hall would allow Wyatt to invest in Charminster rather than give money to the District Council for the wider area.

Cllr Simons also said there wasn’t time to consult external organisations due to time constraints, because it was more likely the plans could be passed if they were submitted before the new West Dorset Local Plan came into force.

He said: “However plans for a new village hall were going to come about, [the trustees] were never going to be enthusiastic. The disappointing thing about their response was that they only focused on the negative things. I would like to see how they explain the [existing hall’s] problems with parking, and how the fact that it’s not big enough for the needs of the expanding village will be solved over the next thirty years.”

The parish council’s survey closed on August 20 and residents’ views are currently being collated in advance of an expected planning application submission from Wyatt Homes in early September.

The trustees’ flyer can be viewed at charminstervillagehall.co.uk/docs/Village_flyer.pdf.

 

The trustees’ response

CHRISTINE Shaw, chairman of the village hall trustees, responded to the Cllr Simon’s comments, saying: “I don’t think Mark is being quite fair. We have not been asked to comment on the development as a whole.”

She said she appreciated the needs of the growing village, but the trustees’ responsibility for the charitable trust is to maintain the current land and building as the village hall.

“We can’t just go out of the door and put the key under the mat.

“We feel, as do many others in the parish, that the existing hall is adequate. If the village does double in size, then perhaps we will have to review things then.”

Comments (11)

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11:24am Sun 31 Aug 14

shootingthru says...

I do only use charminster v h at similar times as durweston and whilst charminster is typical of old school west Dorset v halls you really need to see what has been done at durweston - go visit and grab a fantastic opportunity! They are also close to a school but must have 40 parking spaces to reduce some of the mayhem! Negotiate carefully and you really could be on to a winner if you keep the future of the village at the front of your focus!
I do only use charminster v h at similar times as durweston and whilst charminster is typical of old school west Dorset v halls you really need to see what has been done at durweston - go visit and grab a fantastic opportunity! They are also close to a school but must have 40 parking spaces to reduce some of the mayhem! Negotiate carefully and you really could be on to a winner if you keep the future of the village at the front of your focus! shootingthru
  • Score: 6

2:55pm Sun 31 Aug 14

dogloverdorset says...

I used to live in Charminster -- the current hall is woefully lacking in facilities, has no parking, and the doors open straight onto main roads - so the trustees are being very selfish in opposing a new hall.
Why can they not be asked to run the new facility, and find a new owner to lease the current facility, or continue to lease it out to the regular users?
I used to live in Charminster -- the current hall is woefully lacking in facilities, has no parking, and the doors open straight onto main roads - so the trustees are being very selfish in opposing a new hall. Why can they not be asked to run the new facility, and find a new owner to lease the current facility, or continue to lease it out to the regular users? dogloverdorset
  • Score: 5

4:10pm Sun 31 Aug 14

toyota777 says...

Why does the village need 70 new homes?
Why does the village need 70 new homes? toyota777
  • Score: 2

4:52pm Sun 31 Aug 14

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

As a Charminster resident I find this headline offensively over-dramatic, opinions are certainly divided but there's no 'war'. A sense of proportion please.
As a Charminster resident I find this headline offensively over-dramatic, opinions are certainly divided but there's no 'war'. A sense of proportion please. TenBobDylanThomasHardy
  • Score: 7

7:31pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Get a grip says...

toyota777 wrote:
Why does the village need 70 new homes?
To satisfy the need of those who like to have a second home that they can visit just a few times a year.
[quote][p][bold]toyota777[/bold] wrote: Why does the village need 70 new homes?[/p][/quote]To satisfy the need of those who like to have a second home that they can visit just a few times a year. Get a grip
  • Score: 2

1:00am Mon 1 Sep 14

Atalanta says...

Charminster is a beautiful village and very historic and while I appreciate the needs of its residents, I fail to understand why more new homes need to be built in such a place. The existing village hall is quite charming and probably quite dear to the hearts of the real villagers that it has served for so long. It's understandable the trustees would be upset at not being fully consulted on such an issue as a new hall. It is a threat to their existence and I have no doubt they have put a lot of work into it over the years. These things don't just run themselves. If a new hall has to be built, then perhaps it could be used for things other than those that would normally take place in a village hall and have a different identity.
Charminster is a beautiful village and very historic and while I appreciate the needs of its residents, I fail to understand why more new homes need to be built in such a place. The existing village hall is quite charming and probably quite dear to the hearts of the real villagers that it has served for so long. It's understandable the trustees would be upset at not being fully consulted on such an issue as a new hall. It is a threat to their existence and I have no doubt they have put a lot of work into it over the years. These things don't just run themselves. If a new hall has to be built, then perhaps it could be used for things other than those that would normally take place in a village hall and have a different identity. Atalanta
  • Score: 5

1:38am Mon 1 Sep 14

Wconroy says...

As a person who grew up in the village of charminster I see this as a massive opportunity to ensure the village can maintain facilities and housing for its residents and that of neighbouring communities. My family and I no longer live in the village due to the lack of housing stock and the fact that local young families are currently priced out of the market. The existing village hall has been recently updated yes, but to ensure there are facilities that will last long into the future and benefit further generations of locals should be the most important thing here. I would love to be able to bring my family to a new updated and accessible hall. How nice will it be for my two year old daughter to be able to take her future family to a building which will still stand due to sustainable building and environmental consideration? What I would give to be able to raise my family in the village I grew up in, this is currently not an option to me and I am sure many other young local families. With regard to the existing hall, at a recent event held to display plans for the development I asked the following question. Why could the existing hall not be turned into a village store with possible tea room facilities? This would provide a lifeline to the villages residents young and old, being able to meet other residents and pick up their milk papers and groceries close to home without having to travel by car on foot or in a non existent bus to dorchester. It could even provide local farm produce to bolster the local economy, providing much needed facilities and benefits to residents of charminster and surrounding villages. The world must turn and changes must happen to ensure future generations still have a chance to enjoy this wonderful village.
As a person who grew up in the village of charminster I see this as a massive opportunity to ensure the village can maintain facilities and housing for its residents and that of neighbouring communities. My family and I no longer live in the village due to the lack of housing stock and the fact that local young families are currently priced out of the market. The existing village hall has been recently updated yes, but to ensure there are facilities that will last long into the future and benefit further generations of locals should be the most important thing here. I would love to be able to bring my family to a new updated and accessible hall. How nice will it be for my two year old daughter to be able to take her future family to a building which will still stand due to sustainable building and environmental consideration? What I would give to be able to raise my family in the village I grew up in, this is currently not an option to me and I am sure many other young local families. With regard to the existing hall, at a recent event held to display plans for the development I asked the following question. Why could the existing hall not be turned into a village store with possible tea room facilities? This would provide a lifeline to the villages residents young and old, being able to meet other residents and pick up their milk papers and groceries close to home without having to travel by car on foot or in a non existent bus to dorchester. It could even provide local farm produce to bolster the local economy, providing much needed facilities and benefits to residents of charminster and surrounding villages. The world must turn and changes must happen to ensure future generations still have a chance to enjoy this wonderful village. Wconroy
  • Score: 5

3:40am Mon 1 Sep 14

mr commonsense says...

Your next door neighbour had the same situation 15 years ago. A postage stamp village hall , charming and suitable for a whist drive with no facilities. Then came along a developer and planned to build 86 new homes. Oh dear , this might change our village for ever and we like it the way it is.
The plans were approved and guess what, part of them was a new pub and village hall, well the pub has become one of the go to places and we have a village hall fit for the 21st century. Stratton has become a much more vibrant village and now has a much better mix of the old and new, so my advice to all you folk in Charminster is to get in your coach and horses and visit us to see how much nicer it is to have a modern, larger and better village hall.
Your next door neighbour had the same situation 15 years ago. A postage stamp village hall , charming and suitable for a whist drive with no facilities. Then came along a developer and planned to build 86 new homes. Oh dear , this might change our village for ever and we like it the way it is. The plans were approved and guess what, part of them was a new pub and village hall, well the pub has become one of the go to places and we have a village hall fit for the 21st century. Stratton has become a much more vibrant village and now has a much better mix of the old and new, so my advice to all you folk in Charminster is to get in your coach and horses and visit us to see how much nicer it is to have a modern, larger and better village hall. mr commonsense
  • Score: 11

11:30am Mon 1 Sep 14

cj07589 says...

Get a grip wrote:
toyota777 wrote:
Why does the village need 70 new homes?
To satisfy the need of those who like to have a second home that they can visit just a few times a year.
Jealous of success much??
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]toyota777[/bold] wrote: Why does the village need 70 new homes?[/p][/quote]To satisfy the need of those who like to have a second home that they can visit just a few times a year.[/p][/quote]Jealous of success much?? cj07589
  • Score: 2

8:09pm Mon 1 Sep 14

dogloverdorset says...

Atalanta wrote:
Charminster is a beautiful village and very historic and while I appreciate the needs of its residents, I fail to understand why more new homes need to be built in such a place. The existing village hall is quite charming and probably quite dear to the hearts of the real villagers that it has served for so long. It's understandable the trustees would be upset at not being fully consulted on such an issue as a new hall. It is a threat to their existence and I have no doubt they have put a lot of work into it over the years. These things don't just run themselves. If a new hall has to be built, then perhaps it could be used for things other than those that would normally take place in a village hall and have a different identity.
One very small part of Charminster is lovely - the rest is social housing and bungalow land ! No offence, and the housing estates are very nice and well maintained, but its not all river and thatched cottages!
[quote][p][bold]Atalanta[/bold] wrote: Charminster is a beautiful village and very historic and while I appreciate the needs of its residents, I fail to understand why more new homes need to be built in such a place. The existing village hall is quite charming and probably quite dear to the hearts of the real villagers that it has served for so long. It's understandable the trustees would be upset at not being fully consulted on such an issue as a new hall. It is a threat to their existence and I have no doubt they have put a lot of work into it over the years. These things don't just run themselves. If a new hall has to be built, then perhaps it could be used for things other than those that would normally take place in a village hall and have a different identity.[/p][/quote]One very small part of Charminster is lovely - the rest is social housing and bungalow land ! No offence, and the housing estates are very nice and well maintained, but its not all river and thatched cottages! dogloverdorset
  • Score: 2

8:09pm Mon 1 Sep 14

dogloverdorset says...

Atalanta wrote:
Charminster is a beautiful village and very historic and while I appreciate the needs of its residents, I fail to understand why more new homes need to be built in such a place. The existing village hall is quite charming and probably quite dear to the hearts of the real villagers that it has served for so long. It's understandable the trustees would be upset at not being fully consulted on such an issue as a new hall. It is a threat to their existence and I have no doubt they have put a lot of work into it over the years. These things don't just run themselves. If a new hall has to be built, then perhaps it could be used for things other than those that would normally take place in a village hall and have a different identity.
One very small part of Charminster is lovely - the rest is social housing and bungalow land ! No offence, and the housing estates are very nice and well maintained, but its not all river and thatched cottages!
[quote][p][bold]Atalanta[/bold] wrote: Charminster is a beautiful village and very historic and while I appreciate the needs of its residents, I fail to understand why more new homes need to be built in such a place. The existing village hall is quite charming and probably quite dear to the hearts of the real villagers that it has served for so long. It's understandable the trustees would be upset at not being fully consulted on such an issue as a new hall. It is a threat to their existence and I have no doubt they have put a lot of work into it over the years. These things don't just run themselves. If a new hall has to be built, then perhaps it could be used for things other than those that would normally take place in a village hall and have a different identity.[/p][/quote]One very small part of Charminster is lovely - the rest is social housing and bungalow land ! No offence, and the housing estates are very nice and well maintained, but its not all river and thatched cottages! dogloverdorset
  • Score: 2

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