6th March 2018
The official opening was attended by Alastair Cracknell of Quinn Estates, alongside the Deputy and Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, the Chairman of the Parish Council, John Argar, and the Chairman of the Village Committee, Robin Helmer. Former BBC weather presenter, Kaddy Lee-Preston, was also in attendance.
Refurbishment of the village hall car park was identified as being a key factor in improving village life in Elmsted and Hastingleigh, following a public consultation for a nearby Quinn Estates development. The Chairman of the Parish Council fed this back to Quinn Estates and, within three weeks of the request, the refurbishment was completed.
The previously rundown car park was cut back and cleared, opening the space up to more cars, and completely resurfaced and tarmacked to fill in the existing potholes which had been causing a nuisance to the local parishioners.
The work has left the parish council in a position to use their funds for other ongoing maintenance work and various events throughout the year.
The village hall car park is used on a regular basis, with 248 events hosted there last year. It is used on a weekly basis by a toddler group, the WI, an art group, a singing group, the council, a gardening club, along with various social and fundraising events.
Alastair Cracknell said: “We are delighted to be able to help the Elmsted and Hastingleigh community by refurbishing the local car park. At a time when less people are involved in community initiatives, we have been able to contribute towards facilities that will buck this trend. Our involvement with the village hall demonstrates our community-minded approach to development – something we seek to include in all our projects in the South East.”
John Argar said: “We are incredibly grateful to Quinn Estates for listening to our feedback and acting upon this so quickly. We had previously looked at quotes for doing the work ourselves but it was far beyond our reach.
“Mark came to see me and asked what he could do to help. After discussion with other council members, I told him that we would be most grateful to have the car park refurbished, as it was starting to pose a danger to visitors. He had someone out to look at it the very next day, and within three weeks, the work was complete.
“We have a number of groups use the car park on a weekly basis and it will have a positive effect on all these people’s lives. The village hall represents the centre of village life, so we’re delighted that Quinn Estates were able to improve the facilities here for us all.”
Robin Helmer said: “On behalf of the trustees, we would like to say a very big thank you to Quinn Estates – not only for the work they did but the prompt action that was taken. It was almost a matter of a few days before the agreement was made and work started, and it was completed on time and very quickly. Not only are the trustees pleased, but also every person that uses the hall.”
Kaddy Lee Preston said: “I have lived in the village for nearly five years now. The village hall has come to mean so much to us – I come here at least twice a week for various clubs and it’s a brilliant space. To be able to park easily and safely now means so much and makes it even more fantastic.”
Find out more about Quinn Estates here.