Memorial Institute Building
This is the only building in the village which is owned and operated by the community. It is used everyday for a variety of clubs, groups and meetings. It hosts the All Day Breakfast, the Memorial Service and the Christmas Carol concert among other things.
The building was erected in 1921 in honour of those who lost their lives in the Great War and now also carries a memorial plaque to the fallen of World War 2.
The building is badly in need of repair and an initial estimate of works put the cost at around £175,000. The Institute committee have ambitious plans to extend the building in the future, once the New School is complete.
An Update on the Taylor Wimpey Section 106 Money
First of all, a brief explanation of Section 106:
Under S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, contributions can be sought from developers towards the costs of providing community and social infrastructure, the need for which has arisen as a result of a new development taking place. This funding is commonly known as 'Section 106'.
When planning permission was granted to Taylor Wimpey for the construction of 224 homes on the Groves (Wood Lane Farm) site, a section 106 contribution of £200,000 was included for community infrastructure.
As you can see from the table of S106 contributions from Wood Lane (Groves) - these are all significant sums and they are retained by Flintshire County Council to pay for the upkeep of facilities as described. The first sum of £230,000 for affordable homes is particularly frustrating because this is in lieu of building affordable homes in our village - they get built elsewhere instead.
The wording of the second one is the contentious piece. It is referring to the Youth Club building because that is the community facility adjacent to the site.
Penyffordd Community Council received representation from Penyffordd Scout Group prior to the November 2017 committee meeting as well as personal representation at the meeting itself.
The background to the issue of the S106 money from the Wood Lane (Groves) development is not well documented. In summary:
- An agreement was reached between Flintshire County Council and the landowners for S106 funds to be paid as part of the conditions of planning permission for the Groves site. Those funds included:
“Off Site Recreation Commuted Sum” means the sum of £200,000 towards the enhancement of the existing community facility adjacent to the Land in conjunction with the requirements of the Council and the local community and £35,000 to be used towards Recreation Provision (a total of £235,000).”
The wording is ambiguous but it is widely agreed that the existing community facility referred to is the Youth Club building.
- At the time, a meeting was called at the Youth Club building with attendance including community councillors and representatives from the Scout Group, football team and Youth Club.
- No agreement was reached about what to do with the money.
Issues at that time were:
- The Youth Club building was (and is) owned by Flintshire County Council, not the community
- There is some dispute about whether there is a need for changing rooms for the football teams visiting the site (it has asserted that at that meeting it was said there is no need, but more recently it has been stated that there is a need).
- The Scout leaders at that time did not want the money if it meant sharing their facility with other community organisations.
- The Scout leaders preferred their own dedicated building to moving into the Youth Club building as a shared facility.
- The Scout building was on a 5-year lease from Flintshire County Council
In light of the open disagreements, the suggestion was made (by the late Sir Tom Jones) to use the funds on the renovation of the Memorial Institute, which is wholly owned by the Community.
That was agreed at the time and was voted on again by the Community Council in 2016 and again in 2017.
Not everyone on the Community Council agrees that all of the money should be spent on the Institute project and Cllr Williams has specifically voted and argued against it each time.
Following the November 2017 Community Council meeting:
£190,000 including VAT has been committed to Phase 1 of the Memorial Institute improvements.
£10,000 including VAT has been committed to a survey to identify the structural and maintenance requirements of the Youth Club building.
The Youth Club building has been allocated by Flintshire County Council as a potential Community Asset Transfer. The extent to which repairs and renovation are needed is not clear. If the Youth Club is brought into the village, it will bring a 27 year lease and a repair fund of £50,000.
A further planning permission has also been granted for 40 houses on Rhos Road and that is expected to generate an additional S106 fund of around £50,000.
There is new leadership at the Scouts and they are keen to access the funds for their building. The Council would like to open a dialogue with Scout leaders about their long term needs and whether they can be accommodated in the Youth Club or Institute buildings or whether they intend to maintain their own independent building.
The Council believe that the best long-term interests of the village will be served by preserving both the Youth Club and Memorial Institute buildings. In part because of their historic and heritage value and in part because of the facilities they provide for community activities.
Both buildings need substantial funds to bring them to a standard for modern uses. The Council believe that in the interests of time:
- the agreed project to renovate the Memorial Institute should be continued and supported.
- the Youth Club building should be surveyed as a matter of urgency
- a sub-committee of the Community Council has been established to liaise with groups which are active in the community to understand their individual needs, particularly with regard to space and storage
- the Council will draft an investment strategy addendum to the Place Plan to help with the prioritisation of future investments, based on the Questionnaire feedback from the village, the contents of the Place Plan 2.2 and the findings of the sub-committee
- The addendum will be consulted on with the community prior to being voted on for adoption by the Community Council – the aim is for March 2018 committee.
These are proposals and decisions of the elected Penyffordd Community Council.