AN ENCOURAGING response from villagers has prompted campaigners to press ahead with their plans for a new hall.

The present Rowledge Village Hall is 100 years old reaching the end of its life.

The dilapidated building now needs a new roof which isn’t possible because the existing timber structure is too lightweight to carry the load.

As reported in the Herald previously, The Rowledge Village Hall trustees have been offered a site to buy in Fullers Road.

Planning consent for a house on the site had previously been refused, but the trustees believe a community building would be permitted.

Trustee Jim Duffy said: “Since the Herald article appeared last April, we’ve designed a new hall and carried out three public consultations, with talks and exhibitions, at the village fayre and in the village hall.

“The response has been about 85 per cent positive so the trustees have decided to go ahead with a planning application.

“We still need as many written responses from Rowledge residents as possible, so we will ensure everyone has a chance to comment before it goes in.

“All responses, for or against, will be included in the application documents.

“We’ve just launched a new website which has a section on the new hall project and a contacts page where anyone can express their views.

“In addition, all Rowledge residents should receive a hand-delivered leaflet to explain the proposal and provide postal contact details for those without the internet.”

The new website can be found at

The trustees said: “Rebuilding on the existing constricted site would leave us with the current major deficiencies – a kitchen that is too small for catered events, inadequate storage, very limited outdoor space, no on-site parking, no lobby with direct access to cloaks and toilets and no acoustic separation of the large and small halls.

“And crucially, where would existing users go for up to two years during construction work?

“We respect the fact many people love the hall as it is and have many fond memories, but the reality is it is almost impossible to maintain in a habitable condition.

The new building would include a main hall, a small hall and a link block which would house the foyer, toilets and the kitchens.

The main hall would be big enough for a badminton court and include a stage that would fold up into wall recess.

If it goes ahead, the existing hall would be sold for housing.