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Risby: Village-owned hall and grounds set for significant revamp

PUBLISHED: 14:50 01 June 2014

Archant

A village hall described as “the heart of the community” could be transformed with cladding, new play areas and gardens.

Risby Village Hall, which is owned by the people of Risby and administered on their behalf by Risby Village Hall Charity Trust, was originally built in 1923 by Sir John Wood and bequeathed to the people of the village in 1952.

It was followed by an adjacent larger hall in the 1970s, which was built with the help of loans from the villagers.

The charity trust, which has been carrying out improvement and maintenance work on both sites for the last 15 years now hopes to modernise the exterior of the more recent hall and replace a window with French doors that will lead onto a remodelled outside space.

In a statement to St Edmundsbury Borough Council planners, a spokeswoman for the trust said: “The new hall, built in the 1970s, was undertaken with minimal resources and hence the external wall are of breezeblocks, simply painted cream.

“The external appearance of the new hall is almost like an agricultural building, (and) is now in sharp contrast to the traditional appearance of the old hall and more modern appearance of the new pre-school.

Additionally the new hall is a single skin in places and hence has little insulation.”

Documents state the use of Fibre Cement Weatherboard on the hall – which holds some 70 events for about 1,500 people per month – will “substantially” improve the look of the building.

In addition, a grassed area to the immediate east of the new hall will be turned into a garden with picnic benches.

Although no theme for the garden has yet been decided, suggestions include a
memorial to the First World War.

The trust has also applied to change part of the playing fields to a hard surface play area with fencing to enable people to play tennis, five-a-side football and basketball.

A spokeswoman said: “The area chosen is such that it is adjacent to the current play area for younger children, but also at a distance from any houses such that there will be no noise nuisance to houses in the area.”

The area would be used by any local people and the primary school.

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