Update on the Parish Hall Project – January 2018

The Nether Alderley Parish Hall Restoration Project

An update by the Rector in collaboration with Mrs Jenny Shufflebottom – Chair of Nether Alderley Parish Council and Mr Martyn Bale – Chair of the Parish Hall Restoration Committee

The aim of the Parish Hall Restoration project is to repair, refurbish and improve the Parish Hall.  Key to achieving this is the £145,000 that will be paid by Alderley Park Ltd to Nether Alderley Parish Council via Cheshire East Council in a ‘Section 106 Agreement.’  This sum was estimated as the necessary amount for basic necessary repairs to the building.

The Parish Hall Restoration Committee (PHRC) comprises members of Nether Alderley Parish Council and of St.Mary’s Church.  The Chair of the Committee is Mr Martyn Bale.  Three new members have recently been invited to join either the PHRC or the Fund Raising Working Group.

Since before the 1930s St.Mary’s Church has believed that it owns the oldest part of the Parish Hall (‘the old school house’) – now the kitchen and room above.  This was built in 1628 as a school room with the school teacher’s living accommodation above.  The next part of the building to be constructed (at an unknown date between 1628 and 1817) is the part now used as an entrance lobby and lavatories downstairs and for storage upstairs.  This was built as a ‘hearse house and coal store’.  In 1817 the school was extended by the construction of a hall.  Nether Alderley Parish Council own the hearse house and coal store, and the hall: these were conveyed to the council by Lord Stanley in 1908.

Over the last 15 months progress has been made on a number of fronts, as follows.

Section 106 payments.  After a long period of negotiation, the process of making payments from Alderley Park Ltd to the Parish Council for Parish Hall work via Cheshire East Council has now been fully agreed.

Lloyd Evans Prichard Architects (LEP).  Three costed options for differing amounts of work to be done on the Parish Hall will be presented to the Parish Hall Restoration Committee in late February.  The PHRC will then review the schemes and costs before they can be made known more widely.

Public consultation.  Public consultation on the costed options will hopefully take place in Spring 2018.   These consultations will ask the views of everyone in the civil and church parish and all at St.Mary’s Church which scheme should be pursued, bearing in mind that an appeal for funds to achieve the work would be necessary.  This would be subject to receipt of planning permission and faculty approval (if needed).

The Lloyd Evans Prichard work has conducted a condition survey of the building.  This led to a structural and timber surveyor conducting more inspection work in late December.  In order to reduce the load on the structure of the floor over the lobby and WCs, the items that belong to St.Mary’s Church that have been stored in this room for several years are now in temporary storage in the Stanley mausoleum by agreement with Nether Alderley Parish Council.

Land Registry. With the agreement of the Parochial Church Council, Revd Jon Hale has been working with St.Mary’s Church’s solicitor to prepare the church’s application to register the old school house with the Land Registry in the name of Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.  In December 2017 this application was given to Nether Alderley Parish Council with a request that the council provides a letter of support for the church’s application to register ownership. The Parish Council are considering the church ownership of the School and will respond to the Rector in due course.

Faculty.  A submission has been made to the Diocesan office asking for their decision as to whether the Parish Hall comes under faculty jurisdiction.   The initial response was that a faculty application will be necessary.  Revd Jon Hale has queried this, and he awaits a further response.

Fund Raising Working Group. This group has done a lot of work to both examine how we can raise the funds to execute the project and engage in fund raising more widely inclusive of the appeal for funds locally.

User liaison.  Chris Walker is engaging with users and former users of the Parish Hall about their views on the Hall and its facilities.

Parish Hall Management.  Those whom we will ask to donate to fund the improvement works at the Parish Hall will want to know that the Hall will not be a financial drain on the Parish rate and the parish church in future.   New management arrangements and a business plan are necessary.   This will now be addressed by the Joint Management Committee of the Parish Hall.

Access and vehicle parking working party.   This working party is now looking at aspects of vehicle entry and exit and parking, to assess how these matters should be part of the scheme for repair, refurbishment and improvement of the Parish Hall.

A J Hale


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