Hollingbourne Village Hall Future

Last night villagers attended a packed village hall to hear Hush Heath’s Richard Balfour-Lynn discuss his plans for the future of the village hall and take questions from the audience.

Hollingbourne Village Hall meeting with Richard from Hush Heath

Since Hush Heath’s take over of the Windmill and the land associated, including the Village Hall there has been much speculation as to its future.

Addressing the concerns over use of the hall by local groups first Richard assured the crowd that Local organisations could continue to use the hall for a nominal charge, to cover cleaning and electrical expenses indefinitely. Managed by the Hall committee charity currently, this will close at the end of July and the pub would take over the booking system, for both local organisations and meetings and for the hire for non community events and parties.

Whilst this agreement was good news to most local groups the bowls club however were upset that there may not be the possibility of using the village hall as their regular venue moving forward. The space needed for their club requires the removal of the village hall stage, which would not be possible under health and safety regulations. A possible solution is still being sought.

There is also still some discussion to be had with regards to ‘self-catering’ events, such as the Hollingbourne Horticultural Society annual supper. These events are important fund raisers for these organisations and the loss of being able to provide the food cheaply for these may hinder the events successes.

With regards to the Hotel rooms that richard is planning to provide at both the Windmill and in the accommodation pods outside the hall there did not appear to be any objections. Richard encouraged the audience to look to the recently refurbished The Swan Inn forest Row, an hour from Hollingbourne as an example of his style and standards.

Another favourable response was to the delay and potential cancellation of the new development at Windmill Lane as a result of Richard and Hush Heath opposing the access required to the site through his land. A long opposed development this was met with great relief.

Richard was accompanied at the meeting by his wife Leslie and group operations director Liam Chamberlain, who will be the contact for any queries moving forward. Liam can be emailed here