New Village Hall Timeline
This page is dedicated to keeping a timeline of the progress of building a new village hall.
History of the Village Hall: 1952 - 2013
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What to do... 2013
In 2013 the OCA decided that the constant maintenance of the fabric of the hall had reached a critical stage. They invited an architect to inspect the building and give some options for refurbishing. He verbally gave the opinion that refurbishment would not be cost effective and that the best option would be a complete rebuild. Therefore a public survey was carried out within the parish to ascertain what the community felt about a way forward.
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Community Survey – Oldhamstocks - 2013
Following a survey which returned the following suggested uses of community funding (people could choose more than one option), the local community was also asked what uses the village hall could be put to.
Replace the Village Hall.......61%
Upgrade the Village Hall......38%
Upgrade or create paths......26%
Suggested usage of the village hall from members of the community:-
- Flower show
- Meeting space
- Exercise/ fitness classes
- Sports facility
- Dance classes
- Cub/ Scout camp facility
- Drop-in centre
- Children’s parties
- Community computer venue
- Community events – Burns supper, pub night, quiz night
- Private functions – parties, dinner
- Genealogical resource and exhibition venue
- Craft based workshops with invited tutors
- Music rehearsal
- Tuition for older citizens
- Community shop
- Community cafe
- Local surgery
- Polling Station
- Emergency rest centre
- Church events
- Live music events
- Funeral receptions
- Wedding receptions
- Public meetings
- Community cinema
- Local lending library – books/ DVDs/ CDs
- Bothy for walkers
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Research, research, research...2013-2014
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A community project - 2014
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Public Meeting - 2015
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Structural Report - 2015
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In November 2015 the first part of the AGM was a public meeting again chaired by Cllr. Veitch. The previously mentioned sub-group had decided that their remit required the work to be expanded to the existing committee and reports based on the Structural Report and the future funding possibilities were presented. Cllr. Veitch concluded that a Final Option Paper should be presented to the community including a design for a newbuild hall, plans for refurbishment (although the Structural Report had conclusively ruled this option out) and also a "do nothing" option. There was a vote via show of hands on the question:- “Does the local community agree that we should work towards producing designs for replacing the Hall?” which was a clear yes. There were also guest speakers from Stenton and Spott who shared their experiences of renovating their village halls. There was then a table top discussions which produced the following results:-
*Main Hall as now (no need for a separate room)
*Same footprint, and include store and shed
*East end of hall – extend by approx 2 metres towards fence for redesign of toilet area incl disabled WC
*Level access throughout
*Wall to be retained in front of hall
*North side could be extended by 0.5 metre for a pathway, if part of field is required on north side for building
*Improved kitchen (same size as now)
*Improved toilets incl disabled WC (Ladies/Disabled and Gents)
*No showers necessary!
*If it is a newbuild it should be as similar as possible to existing building: like for like
*Shelving etc for e.g. audio equipment for dancing etc.
*Public area bigger than what we have
*Improved storage and facilities (toilets, kitchen) and disabled access
*New, bigger kitchen
*Parking for disabled
*Slightly larger main hall space – possible to go 25% bigger on existing footprint size?
*Separate smaller meeting room
*Storage space to ensure no external sheds are required
Table 3 cont'd
*Level access throughout
*Improved kitchen and toilet provision, incl full disabled WC
*Shower(s) – for fell race? And could be used as storage if wet room
*Excellent energy efficiency – a top priority
*Much improved ease of maintenance – a top priority
*At least one disabled parking space (check regs!); how will cars access that space – may need to reinforce access across the Green?
*Build something wider and larger that can be partitioned off as required, a hall that can accommodate each person who lives in the parish
*Not looking for something like Co'path Hall which is too big, too high
*Incorporate shed area into the footprint of the hall
*Level access throughout
*Improved kitchen and toilet provision, incl full disabled WC
*One person said yes to shower; rest at this table (9?) said no
*Air conditioning. As eco-friendly as possible. Something like a biomass boiler as a starting point for a biomass boiler for the community
*Very low maintenance
*An opening directly onto the Green
*Broadband as fast as possible
*Slightly larger main hall space to accommodate dances, village gatherings etc. Stone/timber frontage in keeping with the village, consider options already mentioned e.g. change position of entrance door. Be open-minded and realistic about what we as a Community can achieve
*Separate smaller meeting room or screened off area
*Storage space to ensure no external sheds are required – keeps everything under one roof and avoids additional maintenance
*Level access throughout
*Ergonomically improved kitchen and toilet provision incl full disabled WC
*Showers – if possible but thought a bit of a luxury
*Sustainable and energy efficient
*Low maintenance and eco-friendly where possible
*Access and egress – take into account the Disability Discrimination Act
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Time to ask the experts - 2016
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Funding - Stage 1
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Consultation Exhibition - 2017
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Consultation Results - 2017
Following discussion of the findings of the March 2017 consultation with the appointed design team, OCA made the decision to develop the initial hall design further in order to take on board comments from the local community. While it is accepted that not all suggestions could be taken on board, the following design changes were made:
- Roofing material changed from slate to tile.
- The west end of the building features a new gable that is clad in timber.
- The building design was reduced in size by 21%, from 270 sqm to 212 sqm, without the need to compromise on the provision of new facilities. The main hall, meeting room and kitchen have reduced in size, and storage areas reconfigured to make better use of the roof space.
- A second accessible WC with shower facility has been included.
- The number of folding wall partitions has reduced.
- The large rooflight above the main hall space has been changed to a series of smaller conservation-style rooflights.
- The external door to the east of the building has been omitted in order to reduce the amount of landscaping needed.
- Solar tiles have been added to the roof to make the building more sustainable. The extent of the landscaping works has reduced now that there is a better idea of community aspirations for the use of the land surrounding the building:
- Allotments are no longer included in the design as they were not deemed necessary.
- The position of the relocated playpark has moved closer to the village green.
- The land behind the hall will be laid to grass and there will be less paving.
- The east and west boundaries of the site will be lined with evergreen hedging, as discussed with direct neighbours either side of the hall.
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What the community want - 2017
In October 2017 another survey was carried out in the community and the majority stated that they were happy with the plan proposed by the OCA and amended as outlined below following community consultation. An "alternative plan" was also tabled to the community by another group and at AGM 2017 the OCA agreed to look at the proposals in the "alternative plan."
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AGM - 2017
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Updating the community - June 2018
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Voting for progress - September 2018
At the Committee Meeting in September 2018 the OCA voted to instruct Simpson and Brown to apply for planning permission. This was based on the 64% mandate from the 2017 survey and the newsletter informing the community that this would happen. The vote was 11 for with 1 abstention and no votes against.
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Public Resolution Meeting - October 2018
In October 2018 a meeting was held at Oldhamstocks by East Lothian Council Resolution Team which came about following a representation of residents to East Lammermuir Community Council. The group of residents (Angus MacDonald/Ian Christison/Sheila Ainslie/Marie Florence MacDonald) complained that there was a section of the community who did not agree with the plans for the new village hall and that their voices were not being heard (click on the ELC logo opposite to access the Minutes). As a result ELC's Resolution Team were invited to become involved. After meeting with the OCA and a group of residents the afore mentioned meeting was organised and all those in the community who were not in favour of the OCA plans were invited. At the meeting, views were aired and a working group was set up combining residents from the group against the current plan and members of the OCA. The working group will look at plans which would be acceptable to all parties.
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At the Community Association AGM in November 2018 a new committee was formed to take forward the duties of the OCA (click on the picture opposite to access the AGM Minutes). They were:
Lynn Harris - Ferneylea; John McGregor - Ferneylea; Chris Bruce – the village; Ian Christison – Dunglass; Sheila Ainslie – Thortonloch Holdings; Joyce Usher – Dunglass; Angus MacDonald – the village
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OCA Meeting - January 2019
The Working Group, mentioned previously, whilst being independent, has a duty to report to the OCA with its proposals which should then be set out and deliberated on by the whole community. OCA is awaiting communication from the Group regarding progress to date, including details of their remit. OCA Chair is having an informal meeting on 18/01/2019 with Chair of the Group at which he will encourage a report back to OCA very shortly after its next meeting (late Jan). It was also agreed that OCA should ask a representative of the Group to make a presentation at the next OCA meeting in February. OCA agreed that it should encourage the Group to provide a detailed outline of its proposals as well as a timetable relating to final presentation to OCA.
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Working Group Update - February 2019
On 28th February 2019 members of the Working Group reported to the OCA to give the Committee an update on the work done to date, to take the new Village Hall project forward.
Alex Ainslie presented a summary of work progressing at Abbey St Bathans. Whilst at a very early stage, and with only an outline design in place, the community have agreed a provisional budget of c.£350,000 for the project. It is also understood that they plan to use community Windfarm benefits they receive from Community Windpower to fund a mortgage. Paul Scott advised that the Working Group now had 6 members. So far, it had set out its terms of reference, as well as producing a document setting out the process by which any additional hall option(s) will be generated. The Group will build on the work previously completed and will seek to engage with the whole community to validate village hall requirements and fill in any gaps which become apparent, prior to generating any appropriate additional option(s) for the community to review. The Group is keen to ensure any consultation is not seen as a duplication of an exercise undertaken by the previous committee, hence, they will look to make it clear what additional information this will provide and that they will welcome comments from all, whatever their feelings about the existing proposed design.
Paula Oliver gave an update regarding financing options, as currently known, including the possibility of raising a mortgage, supported by Chris Bruce (OCA Committee member) who provided the funding source details for Windfarm Community Benefits (there may also be other funding sources available to augment these). As regards effective and comprehensive communication with the community, Paul raised the concern that the Group are missing a forum to communicate to the community and get feedback. The Group want to be as open and transparent as possible. Lynn Harris (OCA Secretary) informed Paul that the new OCA website will shortly be up and running, and there would be a dedicated section for the Working Group. The OCA also offered the Working Group a regular section in the upcoming newsletter which was gratefully accepted.
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Resolution Service - withdrawal and apologies - May 2019
Following serious concerns about the Resolution Service process, a letter was sent to East Lothian Council from ex-OCA members in December 2018, evidencing the failings of the process, in general and the Resolution Officer in particular, which included:
• Not adequately researching the situation
• Not explaining the remit, the criteria or goals
• Not listening to OCA evidence
• Lack of neutrality
• Claiming unfounded concerns about OCA
• Inviting only those opposed to the public meeting
• Making no minutes or notes available
• Claiming falsely, no record of Pre-Planning existed
• Not supporting the Working Group
• Failing to report back to the ELCC
In response, a letter was received on 11th February 2019 from Caitlin McCorry, Service Manager – Community and Area Partnerships, East Lothian Council, the following is an extract: -
“Having reviewed the papers that were provided to me, I would like to apologise on behalf of East Lothian Council for the unhelpful impact of the Resolution Service to this community engagement project and acknowledge that the mediation process was not constructive overall. I was very disappointed to learn that the Lead Officer’s involvement did not assist in improving the situation, as had been intended, and to learn that in your view she contributed to the relationship between to two parties involved further deteriorating."
"The Resolution Service is provided by Midlothian Council staff, who are contracted to deliver the service of behalf of East Lothian Council. Please be assured that the appropriate senior officers at Midlothian Council have been made aware of the situation. They have advised me that they have taken the necessary action to ensure that the approach and the actions taken by the officer involved when dealing with this dispute, have been addressed. They have altered their working practices to ensure that this situation does not arise again. Managers at Midlothian Council would also like to extend their apologies to you for the way in which the mediation process was conducted.
I can confirm that the Resolution Service has now formally withdrawn from attempting to resolve this dispute. It is extremely regrettable that the outcome hoped for – to reach a consensus on how to make best use of the windfarm funding available to develop the village hall facilities – was not realised.”
On 26th May 2019 a letter was received from East Lammermuir Community Council, the following is an extract:-
“As we discussed on 19th March, the Community Council offered to source and if appropriate fund a mediation (Resolution) service, if that was agreeable to the Oldhamstocks Community. We understood that to be the case, as representatives of the Community Association, and those who attended the Community Council meeting in May 2018, assured us that they would take part in the mediation process. As we now know, the service provided did not meet any of our aspirations, and we are sorry that this has happened. As indicated above, we have taken steps to ensure it won’t happen again.”
This marks the end of the Resolution Service's involvement with the village hall process however, the Working Group it set up, has yet to conclude its work.
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The following is an update given by the Group in the OCA Spring Newsletter 2019.
Oldhamstocks Village Hall Working Group was set up following a community meeting on 10 October 2018. The purpose of the Group is to independently review and develop options for the Village Hall to be put before the community, so that a decision can be made as to which proposal is then put forward for Planning.
The group is formed from previous OCA members and additional people from the community, however following the recent resignations of Paul Scott (Chair) and David Legge (due to work and family commitments), we are down to only 4 members: Paula Oliver (Secretary), Alex Ainslie, Nikki Edge and Will Kirkham and need another 2 or 3 more members enable us to continue. If you have any interest in joining us, please email Paula Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group is formed from previous OCA members and additional people from the community, however following the recent resignations of Paul Scott (Chair) and David Legge (due to work and family commitments), we are down to only 4 members: Paula Oliver (Secretary), Alex Ainslie, Nikki Edge and Will Kirkham and need another 2 or 3 more members enable us to continue. If you have any interest in joining us, please email Paula Oliver at email@example.com. Membership of the Working Group is independent of the membership of the Oldhamstocks Community Association (OCA), the Group plans to report regularly to the OCA on progress and with recommendations from its ﬁndings.
The Working Group aims to deliver a joint presentation with OCA representatives to the East Lothian Council Planning Committee with a Proposal for our new village hall, and will disband once this has been achieved.
We recognise the signiﬁcant work undertaken by the previous OCA Committee in developing the current hall proposal, and we don’t want to duplicate this. So we have been reviewing all this activity to help inform the development of potential options. We have agreed the following steps for the Working Group:
Agree our remit and terms of reference (complete)
* Understand community requirements for the hall (review existing information collated to date) such as:
- the size and composition of our community
- current and potential future hall usage (we can use previous consultations for this)
* Bring all this information together and check if there are any areas where we need additional information to give us a complete picture
2. Clarify community requirements for the hall with everyone:
* We will consult with you to check that we have got these requirements right. We appreciate that there have been a number of consultations with you to date, so we want to bring all of this work together in one place and ensure we are working with the very best, and most up to date, information to shape our opinions
* Understand what is most important to you for a new hall. We might not be able to meet all requirements, so this will let us prioritise features and balance these against costs.
* We are working on the best way to get feedback from you to achieve this.
3. Generate one or more further option(s) - if required - for the Community to consider alongside the existing design. This may need a couple of iterations.
4. Give the Community a ﬁnal vote on which option to submit for Planning.
We want to be open and transparent about our work, so we will be looking to make all Minutes and other documents accessible to the Community, by uploading to the Oldhamstocks Community Association Website.
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A community project - 2019
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In November 2019, the Village Hall Working Group presented a ﬁnal report. The report summary states:
"There is a definite demand in the Community for a new hall and we suggest that from the community statistics, an upper limit of 100 people (50% of the Community), standing for larger events, or in an auditorium style seating arrangement, should be used to dictate the hall floorplan. However, the current regular user groups are relatively small (less than 20 users) indicating that there is a need for flexibility to create smaller spaces within the hall. The surveys all indicated a desire for a slightly larger hall that could be divided into smaller spaces. The Group can see the merits of the S&B design, but recommends that options should be developed that seek to maximise capacity within a smaller overall footprint whilst reducing areas of 'dead space'.
As costs are based upon square meterage, this should in turn reduce costs however this would need to be explored through options development. There has been a lot of information gathered on future village hall development through a range of consultations and surveys with the Community. This Group has attempted to bring that together and augment it with a view to sharing a set of design requirements and a number of recommendations as to how these might inform the development of any further options for hall design.
Whatever the future approach decided upon to shape these options there should continue to be effective engagement with the Community and continued openness and transparency about costs and decisions made".
Although this report falls short of the Group's initial remit of taking a chosen plan to the Planning Application stage it has eﬀectively disbanded, having "gone as far as they felt was possible". It will now once more be the duty of the OCA to progress the plans for a new village hall.
Click on the picture to access the full Report.
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The OCA held an AGM in February 2020 when a new committee was formed to take forward the duties of the Association. They are Jonathon Ellis (Cocklaw), Joe Zawinski (Oldhamstocks Mains), John McGregor - Treasurer (Fernylea), Chris Bruce (village), Jacob Mells (village), Lynn Harris - Secretary (Fernylea), Angus MacDonald - Chair (village) Janice Donaldson (Dunglass), Alex Ainslie (Thornton Glen), Ian Christison (Dunglass). Jacob Mells has since stood down.
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OLDHAMSTOCKS VILLAGE HALL
Design Brief for new Village Hall
The Oldhamstocks Village Hall was moved to its current site in 1948, having previously been anArmy Hospital Unit. It was constructed and used by the local community, and has served itspurpose for over 70 years.
A building report, written by Richard Amos Ltd, was commissioned by Oldhamstocks Community Association in September 2015, which identified a number of issues with the existing hall building.
Progress to date
The Community has a fully costed design from Simpson & Brown Architects, which was commissioned in 2017/18.
However, due to considerable public concern about the way forward the Community agreed to amediation/resolution programme via East Lothian Council. The outcome of their report was thecreation of a Village Hall Working Group - formed from Community members not on OCA or any
other community group.
Their main achievement has been the production of a report following a survey of all the Hall user groups, undertaken earlier this year. The findings of this report have formed the basis of the Design Brief. One of the key messages the Working Group found during the surveys of User Groups, was the need to provide the Community with more than one design choice for the new Hall - with substantial support for 3 alternatives to the existing Simpson & Brown design. In light of this, it was felt that a revised Design Brief was required, to reflect the most recent Community feedback and to ensure that each architect would be working to the same set of parameters.
Taken from Working Group report, 4.1
Households in the community 83
Adults in the Community 160
Children in the Community 40
Total population 200
CURRENT HALL USAGE
See Working Group, 4.2 & 4.3
FUTURE HALL USAGE
See Working Group report, 4.4
EXISTING HALL INFORMATION
See Working Group report, 4.5
Also see 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 for further information.
The Working Group Report have produced a report based on collated feedback from user groups and the community over the last 12 months. This is the most up to date feedback we have from the community.
The following list of requirements is taken from this report.
- Hall on broadly same site as existing
- Timber/sandstone finish, in keeping with village vernacular
- Exterior hall height similar to existing
- Slightly larger Main Hall - width and length
- Ability to section off part of main hall, for smaller meetings, etc
- Slightly larger and better laid out kitchen - with range type cooker, double sink, plenty of work surfaces, adequate storage for crockery, etc
- Level outdoor space for classes and games
- Disabled access into and throughout hall
- Access across green to entrance - must blend in with existing ‘village green’, whilst providing suitable surface for occasional vehicular and disabled access.
NOTE: It is important that any proposed access should not impede other uses of the village green, such as the flower show marquee/kids races/tug of war
- Double doors for loading/unloading and enhanced access to main hall
- Better toilet provision, including disabled facilities/wet room/shower and baby changing facilities
- Non slip/easy clean flooring, particularly in kitchen, toilets and main entrance
- Sprung floor in main hall - for country dancing
- Efficient heating system - quick to heat up, environmentally sound, renewable, sustainable, reduction in running costs
- Continuous source of hot water
- Plenty of internal storage (tables, chairs, fitness equipment, Christmas decorations, etc) - easy access, secure
- Easily maintained - internally and externally
- Internal lighting - mixed and variable lighting options, inc. dimmer switches etc
- External lighting - options for motion sensitive/timers, etc
- Hearing loop
- Affordable to build and maintain
- Ideas for suitable relocation of existing children’s play equipment
COSTS AND FUNDING
Both the capital cost of the new hall - including land acquisition, if required - and its future running costs need to be met from funds the Community can realistically raise.
Key funding sources include local wind farms, which are estimated to provide over £2m of income over the next 24 years.
It may also be possible to raise a bank loan to pay for development costs, with loan repayments and interest being met from windfarm money.
OCA have access to approx £200,000 for initial funding of the project, for example design, demolition, deposits etc.
In considering the costs of other local village halls and known designs, we anticipate our budget will fall somewhere in the range of £350,000 - £650,000 (The existing Simpson & Brown Architects Design total cost being estimated at £577, 000).
Design ideas should be provided as follows:
- Sketch drawings of proposed design, to scale, including note of suggested materials, dimensions etc
- Scale drawing of suggested floor plan, anotated
- Outline/estimated costs for project, as follows:
- Design, project management and any other architectural costs
- Demolition and associated services
- Construction costs - services, materials, construction, etc
- Any additional costs
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