Speldhurst Chapel Project
30th October 2023: Speldhurst Chapel Project Update
Speldhurst Chapel Project will soon launch its community share offer and fund raise to finance building works at the Chapel, to enable the Shop and Post Office to relocate to the Chapel and also create a community space in the building.
The share offer and fund raise opens on Monday 13th November 2023 and closes on Friday 8th December 2023. For more information, and to find out when Speldhurst Chapel Project will hold community meetings, please see the attachment below.
10th September 2023: The results of our parish survey on the future of Speldhurst's community shop and post office
Between the 1st and 30th of August 2023, the parish council ran a consultation asking residents for feedback on whether it should apply for a Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) loan to purchase Speldhurst Chapel so that Speldhurst's community shop and post office could move into it.
In total, 623 households responded, representing 32% of households in the parish.
Having received a clear mandate from the consultation, councillors voted at their Full Council meeting on Monday 4th September, to proceed with an application for a loan to purchase the chapel site.
The results for each of the 3 questions were as follows;
- Do you think Speldhurst Parish Council should be taking steps to protect local assets such as the Speldhurst Community Shop - 89% said YES
- Are you in favour of the Parish Council proceeding with this project - 85% said YES
- Are you in favour of the Parish Council proceeding with this project knowing it will include a council tax increase of £12.49/yr for a Band D property, for the purpose of loan repayments – 82% said YES
You can find a further breakdown of responses by village (Ashurst, Langton Green, Old Groombridge, Speldhurst) to each question in the PDF document below.
While the council will now proceed with an application for a PWLB loan there are further steps to complete and specific conditions to meet before we will draw down the loan - subject to it being approved - to purchase the Chapel site. If unforeseen problems arise or conditions are not met (and particularly if the Chapel Project Team does not raise enough funds through their community share offer to meet their obligations) the council will not draw down the loan. It is worth noting that the council only becomes liable for the loan when it is drawn down, and not when it is approved.
We will provide further updates as the project progresses. If you have any questions, do get in touch.
To read the consultation information we provided to residents by post and via this website between the 1st and 30th August, please see the PDFs below.