Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Work begins on new £60,000 roof at hall

WORK has begun to replace the roof at Peppard War Memorial Hall.

WORK has begun to replace the roof at Peppard War Memorial Hall.

The original roof tiles will be removed, new insulation put in and asbestos removed by specialist contractors.

The project will cost about £60,000 in total.

South Oxfordshire District Council has provided a £20,000 grant towards the work, the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment group (Toe2) has given £7,000 and Peppard Parish Council £5,000.

The rest of the money came from private donations and fund-raising.

Clive Mills, chairman of trustees for the hall in Gallowstree Road, said: “I’ve been a member of the management committee for many, many years and we have always been talking about this project.

“When I took over as chairman of trustees we had a five- year plan and this is the last project that was part of that plan. It has taken about 18 months to bring this together and do all the presentations to get the money. South Oxfordshire District Council and Toe2 have been good to us. 

“We have also had some very generous gifts from local people as well as having our own money that we get from everything we do.” 

The hall, which can accommodate 90 people, is used by groups such as Peppard Luncheon Club, Peppard WI and Peppard Revels. It has also been used as a polling station, for parties and for a toddler club.

Mr Mills said: “We started work on August 1 and are replacing all the original tiling on the roof, which is from 1921. The work should save us money on energy costs because of the new insulation. We are adding more technology inside as part of the work being done.”

Meanwhile, negotiations are continuing over leasing a 60sq m section of land at the memorial hall to the parish council for a new playground.

The trustees want to replace the £923 annual rent they used to receive from Peppard Bowls Club, which closed in January.

The council already has planning permission for a £50,000 playground on the Top Common, near the lay-by on the link road between the B481 and Colliers Lane.

However, it believes that the hall site might be prefereable and it plans to carry out a survey of residents.

Mr Mills, who lives in Shiplake Bottom, said the trustees were still in negotiations with the council but these had stalled following the resignation of Councillor Terry Ryan, who was running the playground project.

Cllr Ryan stood down last month after about five years on the council.

Mr Mills said: “At this moment we are not too clear on how we are going to go forward but I am sure we will end up with some form of play area in the bowls club area.

“The fact is we have got a lovely open area that has been used through the summer. The bowls club area has been used for outside games, so it has helped us to get more people to use the hall.

“We have got plenty of safe parking and it’s a secure area and children are able to walk around without parents fearing they are going to walk off. The hall has got everything going for it.”

Simon Crouch, chairman of the parish council, said he was waiting to hear from Mr Mills about the possible play area.

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