Improvements to Jevington Village Hall along with a new access and car park have been unanimously approved.
Trustees of the Grade II listed building are looking to make a number of alterations including a new glazed entrance to the rear, removal of internal partition walls and the replacement of an existing lean-to extension to provide accessible toilet facilities.
The other major part of the plans will see a new access constructed from Jevington Road, car park with level access to the hall and a paved pedestrian access.
A planning application for the works was approved unanimously by the South Downs National Park Authority’s planning committee today (Thursday January 17).
One of the trustees explained how the hall’s Achilles’ heel was its access with no car park within easy walking distance and steep steps putting prospective users off.
Jennifer Binnie, who lives in the adjoining School House and manages the hall’s bookings, said: “I think it’s important that this beautiful and unique building is restored and made accessible both to local residents and to this who live further afield and I feel it’s vital for the village community that we have a usable space to meet in and to use in all the ways that add richness to a small community.”
Richard Churchman, chairman of the Jevington and Filching Residents Association, added: “It’s a fine example of Victorian architecture and through this project it will be secured not just for the village but for everyone who visits the area.”
While a number of committee members raised road safety concerns about the proposed access, they also spoke strongly in favour of the benefits of the proposal.
Doug Jones said: “I think it’s a delightful little scheme, I think it’s great such regard has been given to the sensitivity of the listed building.
“Having had the opportunity of going inside the building on at least one occasion as well I can say the atmosphere of a 150-year-old building is a great place for the community to assemble and hold the new range of events we have heard about.”
Alun Alesbury, who chaired the committee meeting, added: “This is a good scheme and I share the hopes of other members that the access construction can be made as sensitive as possible to the location.”