This page will show progress on the plans for a new village hall. The current ad-hoc committee will post updates on its discussions, and you are encouraged to post your comments by e-mail to .
Update 3 May 2018
Planning permission has now been granted for the construction of a four bedroom family house, on the site of the present Village Hall. The plans for this have put up in the porch of the Hall. Harpers and Hurlingham have been appointed as agents to market the site for the Village Hall Charity.
As this will be the sale of the Charity property, the trustees must abide by the guidelines set down by the Charity Commission. So, a qualified Chartered Surveyor has been appointed to advise on the sale and at least three estate agents have been approached to tender for the job of marketing the site. When it comes to accepting an offer, the trustees will not know the identity of individual bidders, but will decide which offer to accept purely on the merits of the offer. The site will go on the market within the next few days.
Now that this stage has been reached, we can move on to refining the design for the New Village Hall, with a view to submitting a planning application.
Update 25 November 2017
We now have a proposed plan for the Village Hall, from Rachel Newton at HADAI. You can download the ground plan in full from here (PDF format, 483kB) and there are also several "artist's impressions", some of which can be seen on this page. If you are interested in the detailed plans, contact the committee and we can send them to you (but they are quite large files).
Update 3 November 2017
We have received a new draft plan for the house proposed to be built on the old Village Hall site from our architect, Rachel Newton at HADAI. You can view it here (it's a 1.8 MB pdf). We will post the plan for the new hall when it becomes available.
Update 22 February 2017
Plans have been drawn up and submitted to our planning authority, Ashford Borough Council, for preliminary advice. These plans cover both the proposed new Village Hall and a private dwelling for the old VH site. The advice received was positive and pointed only to a few areas of concern. Of those, the only one that might potentially present an issue is thought to be Highways: will they permit an entrance/exit on to Rye Road near Bourne's? We are seeking advice from Highways on this point.
Meanwhile we are enquiring with the Charity Commission for their advice concerning the sale of the old plot and development of a new Hall with the proceeds.
The plans will be presented and discussed at a Township meeting in the old Village Hall at 7.30pm on 30 March. More info and agenda to follow.
Update 24 August 2016
At the Township Meeting on Wednesday 13th of July, a presentation of the options for both the old village hall site and a new village hall was made. A vote was taken, which showed full support for the plan to (a) sell the old village hall as a building plot and (b) build an extension to the sports pavilion, to serve as a new village hall.
On Thursday 11th August the Village Hall Committee met in the old village hall to discuss the options going forward. This committee is a meeting of minds rather than a formal committee. Any villager is welcome to join the committee, especially if they have specialised knowledge or skills, or a strong interest in the plans.
It was decided that the next stage of the project should be to obtain two valuations of the old village hall site from local estate agents. Once we have the valuations we will have an estimated budget to cover the proposed building of the new village hall, moving the cricket nets, building a car parking area, providing car access to the proposed car park from the Rye Road and making a trackway from the corner of Lossenham Lane to the proposed new car park. It was decided to ask Harpers & Hurlingham and Rush Witt & Wilson to provide initial valuations. The valuations will be for the cleared site with planning permission to build either a family house, or two smaller starter homes.
The committee has taken advice from two professionals regarding the processes for applying for pre-planning advice from Ashford Borough Council on both the old village hall site and the new village hall. We are very grateful that this advice has been given free of charge. Once we have the opinions of Ashford Planning, designs for both buildings can be prepared and these designs will be presented to the villagers for review before final planning permission is applied for.
In addition to consulting the villagers, the committee are in discussion with the trustees of The Selmes Trust and with Newenden Cricket Club regarding the total project.
Any villager is welcome to comment on any aspect of the project. Please send your comments to
A note on the legal status of the Village Hall
The Village Hall was built by Moses Barnes in the early 1920's. Following his death, it was bought from his estate by the original Village Hall Charity in 1925. The Charity was re-constituted in 1948 with the help of the Charity Commission. Because the Charity is "unincorporated", the land is formally vested in the Official Custodian for Charities (effectively an official of the Charity Commission), who holds it on behalf of the Charity. Any sale of the land must therefore be approved by the Charity Commission, but they will not object as long as the sale is for the true market value of the property and does not otherwise conflict with the Charity's objectives.
In practice, therefore, the Charity can sell the land but can only use the proceeds to build (or otherwise provide) a new Village Hall for Newenden residents.