An opportunity has arisen for the village to purchase the Black Barn, and adjoining cart sheds, adjacent to the George. It is currently owned by Babraham Farms.
Whilst clearly decrepit and unused for at least 35 years it is an opportunity that BPC and the Village Hall Committee believe should be thoroughly investigated. The council has begun a detailed, professional feasibility study to determine whether it can be successfully and economically converted to a community facility.
Initial sketches have been produced by a local firm of architects and a request for pre-planning advice made to SCDC planners and listed building officers. The initial architects report and sketches can be seen here
The feasibility study is to be completed by 2 July. If the study shows the scheme feasible and affordable then the VHC/BPC will put the scheme to the village seeking approval and commitment. The freehold will, if sufficient community support is forthcoming, be purchased and donated by a benefactor. It is the intention that the VHC funds will be used to return the building to a safe and secure state, and to complete as much of the conversion as can be afforded. Clearly it is an expensive project and will require additional fund raising and a considerable amount of community participation, help and involvement.
Both BPC and VHC believe that the benefit to the village now and for the future is considerable. Having a community hall with meeting rooms and with space for a shop etc. right in the centre of the village will be very valuable, but not at any cost.
This section of the web site will publish details of the plans and ideas, will note progress as it is being made and will be a forum for opinion.
Key areas of the feasibility study.
- 1: Architects and Structural Engineers are preparing a full technical feasibility assessment with expected costings detailed as far as is possible.
- 2: SCDC planners and conservation officers have been consulted as to their opinion regarding the conversion. They are expected to issue a design brief that will determine how the building can be used whilst conserving its historic significance.
- 3: Local landowners and neighbours are being consulted as to their opinions, concerns etc.
- 4: As the available funds are unlikely to be enough to fully complete the project BPC are looking at how we may beg, borrow or obtain what otherwise be expensive fittings and fixtures. These will include kitchen fittings, lighting, tables and chairs and anything else we can get that will be useful.
- 5: Other sources of funding and grant aid are being investigated, their likelihood of success being assessed.
- 6: An estimation of the amount and degree of local support will need to be made. This project will not succeed unless the village as a whole is committed and gets involved.
The window of opportunity we have is limited so the feasibility study is progressing with all speed. The village will be fully consulted before any decision is taken on the go ahead or not of the project. If in the meantime you have an opinion or have anything to say then please contact the council directly by following this email link or use this sites contact form.