Cllr Simon Heap – Vice Chair

As a new council there was a lot for us to get to grips with in the first few months after the local elections in May, including, among other things, the potential redevelopment of Roding Valley Hall. The Hall is one of two buildings the Parish Council owns as community assets, the other being the Woollard Centre. As both buildings are community assets it is vital that we continue to maintain them in good condition, so that community groups are able to use them safely and securely. We also know that local residents want to keep both buildings as community assets. But unfortunately, it is also clear that Roding Valley Hall needs a great deal of repair work.

We have, as a result, been reviewing the previous council’s plans to redevelop Roding Valley Hall. That work tried to gain a better understanding of what a redeveloped Roding Valley Hall could be for local residents and included a feasibility study and architectural drawings. We have looked at this work and it does seem clear that to be of use in the future, Roding Valley Hall needs to alter. A proposal to go ahead to the next stage of investigating and fully costing a redeveloped Roding Valley Hall will now go to a full council meeting in November.

Ultimately, what we want to do is to create a sustainable community asset fit for a town the size of Buckhurst Hill and with modern amenities that will serve local residents better than the current building. A major part of the next stage of our work will be to consult with you, our residents so that we ensure not only value for money but that the redevelopment of the Hall is something we can all be proud to use for years to come.

There is still quite a long way to go in this process however, and we know that local community groups are keen to use the existing Roding Valley Hall now that Covid restrictions have been lifted. With this in mind we are seeking assurances that Roding Valley Hall is safe to use and, if it is, will reopen the Hall until such time as a decision is made on its redevelopment.

About us

Buckhurst Hill, on the doorstep of the ancient Epping Forest, is a desirable location across the age spectrum for many reasons. It has excellent access to public transport.

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