26 November 2005, AT 10:00 AM
Leaders: Eric Barnett, Jenny Shaw, Julian Haywood-Smith, Roger
Roseboom, Malcolm Watson, Rick Kerry, Keith Beaumont, Mike Hudson
Village Hall Secretary: Margaret Wilson.
Approximately 45 adults attended the session and we were pleased to see lots
of children accompanying their parents.
A number of apologies
had also been received.
Eric Barnett welcomed everyone to this meeting and explained that the
project originally began life as a result of pressure for new play space
facilities from Great Bealings parishioners. After failing to identify a
suitable site in Great Bealings, discussions were held with councillors from
the Little Bealings Parish Council about the idea of refurbishment of the
existing joint parish Playingfield. Subsequently, Great Bealings arranged
initial surveys and design options. The resulting proposals have led to the
initiation of a joint parish consultation exercise to identify the level of
support there might be for refurbishment of the Playingfield.
Jenny Shaw reported that the result of the consultation exercise shows a
strong level of support for refurbishment:
village responded to consultation exercise
respondents supported the idea of refurbishment.
children aged 4+
children visiting the families in the villages
households volunteered to help
With clear support for the idea of refurbishment, a small administration
team has been set up to take the project to the next step.
Eric explained that the owners of the Playingfield are the Trustees of the
Village Hall and not the Parish Councils and that any change would need to
be approved by the Village Hall Management Committee. After negotiations
with the Village Hall Trustees there is now a user group with representation
on the Village Hall management committee. This user group is known as the
Friends of the Bealings Playingfield. And we are pleased to say that three
members of the user group have been co-opted as Trustees of the Village Hall
facility. Eric also stressed that the Village Hall Management Committee have
stressed the need to ensure sufficient provision of resources to cover the
on-going maintenance of the new facilities.
Eric explained that the purpose of this open meeting was to seek continued
from the community on the proposed design
Outline of Proposed
Copies of draft plans for the field were available for attendees. Julian
Haywood-Smith described each of the proposed facilities:
Children’s play area – for ages 4 to 11 is to be located on the
Picnic area – will be located in the old children’s play area
Adventure Playground – a new facility for ages 11+ will be located at the
top of the Playingfield.
Five a side Football – the existing field will be levelled to provide a
grass pitch with goals fixed at either end [pitch size approx 42m by 25m)
and is 10% less than the maximum size and 15% greater than the minimum
size). Earthworks are planned to make the football field level.
Tennis court – probably made of porous Macadam and surrounded by
BBQ area - situated at the back of the hall beside the kitchen area with
access to a raised Patio area with seating for approximately 40 people on
Accessibility: - existing ramp will be improved for disabled access to
Eric Barnett added:
will be no disturbance of established trees although some saplings (sycamore
and silver birch) may need to be removed to make way for patio.
lighting will be provided to minimise opportunities for vandalism
permission will be required for planned changes and landscaping.
Project Costs & Funding
Although we have
obtained initial quotes for the work we need to do some more research and
will advise the total cost when each facility has been researched and
Roger Roseboom advised
that we aim to fund the project through a combination of grants and
Based on Roger’s initial
investigations, grants may available from Suffolk ACRE - the rural
environment resourcing agency. Suffolk ACRE has indicated that the results
of our consultation exercise are a good indication of support and they liked
the draft plan.
Suffolk ACRE has also
made some suggestions that would allow us to see more value from grant
an “all sports” pitch is thought to be better than separate football and
grants for Tennis courts are more difficult to get as they are a singular
adventure playgrounds often gain high levels of grant
Break and Viewing the
meeting adjourned so that attendees could be shown the site and understand
how the new facilities would sit on the field itself. This was followed by
a break for refreshments.
Eric Barnett stressed
again that crucial matters such as day to day management of the facilities
once they are in place are at the forefront of the Village Hall Management
Committee’s mind and that commitment to maintain the facilities is needed
from the community at large if the project is to be a success.
Eric then opened the
meeting to questions from the floor. Comments received were as follows:
areas for age 4+
Ideally provide facilities for toddlers too– place for new mothers to
meet others with young children in the villages.
Consider all weather multi-purpose field - combining tennis, and other
Children will play football all year – football will dominate. If
multi-purpose all weather pitch then need separate area for impromptu
kick about area.
Multi-use area would use up less space so there would be more space. We
need to get new scheme drawn up and consider usage.
Changing over from football to tennis fixtures means that the facilities
may get damaged and also may require an adult needed to supervise the
changeover. This in turn could mean less spontaneity although it was
recognised that Bawdsey take things up and down. It was felt that
children want to just turn up, don’t want to book.
Perhaps another grass area would act as an area for spontaneous football
use whilst pitch is for more formal supervised games.
Multi-purpose field will need booking system – some aspects of
Suggest we compare cost of two schemes i.e. multifunctional pitch as
opposed to separate football and tennis.
And determine if there are enough people to use separate facilities. Can
you practically have football and tennis at same time – tennis needs a
Suggest that use of new facilities could be encouraged through creation
of clubs with small membership fee (£1).
Eric Barnett felt that we shouldn’t let our thinking be driven by grant
Good idea – can be used by all ages – family, older generation and also
Lighting at tennis court would extend useful time. Answer: May be
a problem – objections due to light pollution. Response: Could
move courts to less obtrusive area.
Patio area -
OK – safety rails needed where land drops away
Suffolk ACRE supports
the idea of the BBQ area which makes for a social environment near the
problems affect pedestrian access - need speed reduction in the Street
and footpath for Great Bealings residents to walk in safety to field.
to existing play area is not suitable for buggies
Can we guarantee that nature area will be kept? Answer: Can’t
guarantee due to digger access
How do we protect against vandalism? - plan to provide security lighting
Need access to toilet facilities – either provide external facilities or
devise access to the existing internal toilet facilities without
impacting on use of main hall.
1. BMX bike area –
good example in Ufford
2. Skate boarding
3. Cricket is coming
back into fashion – Cricket nets
Suffolk ACRE has advised that BMX & Skate boarding facilities could
create problems by drawing unruly elements from urban areas.
Have we looked at other similar projects for ideas? Playford, Hacheston,
Bawdsey and Ufford were cited.
Front of Village
The front of the Village Hall is considered to be uninviting – Answer
= work is planned to fix main front wall/window and car park needs to be
Is there a risk that the project will focus on the more costly
facilities and that we may not get around to providing the less costly
play equipment. Answer: facilities would be delivered in phases and that
play equipment for children would take priority. However, some work on
the levelling of the field may have to take place before the play
equipment can be installed. Every effort will be made to give children’s
play equipment the priority.
As well as footpaths – speed reduction needed in The Street.
Summary & Next Steps
The meeting concluded
that the proposals are very imaginative and will be good to get people into
the village. The facilities will also provide facilities for organised
events which can draw more people in.
The meeting took a vote
on the idea that there should be a multi-purpose pitch and the majority were
in favour although there was concern that the level of organisation needed
and the resultant lack of impromptu use of such a facility may preclude the
Eric Barnett advised
that the next steps include – redrafting plan options, initiating
fund-raising and preparing for planning application.
response to a question on how long the project would take – Eric Barnett
estimated that the Design, Funding, Planning Permission and Build could take
2 years so we are looking at work starting in 2006 and completing late 2007.
The subject will be on
the agenda at the next meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee on
17th January 2006.
Information on progress will be posted on notice boards, the parish magazine
and on the website:
Residents are invited to send any further comments by email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or in the Village Hall letter box.