Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

Supporting a new Bassingbourn Village Hall

by Susan van de Ven on 19 April, 2021

My letter of support to South Cambs Planning Dept:

19 April 2021

Richard Fitzjohn

South Cambs District Council Planning Department

Dear Richard

21/00512/FUL

I would like to offer my strongest support for this planning application, The Limes Communal Rooms Bassingbourn, change of use to a village hall and as a base for the parish council.

Bassingbourn is a large village with primary and secondary schools, health and dental services, shops and pub, and a relatively good bus service – but notable for the absence of a village hall.  This planning application offers a unique opportunity for a village hall in a proven optimum village centre location.  

Some years ago, when the Melbourn Library Access Point was housed in an end-of-life portacabin on the Melbourn Village College site, consideration of a new site took on board learning from the successful example of Bassingbourn.  It was well known that the move of the Bassingbourn Library Access Point from the Village College to the Limes Communal Room, in a prime High Street location, had been the catalyst for a significant uptake in use.  This was a key factor in the choice of location for the Melbourn LAP at a new Melbourn Hub, in a walkable and visible High St location.   The Melbourn LAP has gone from strength to strength and has helped to form part of a vibrant new community centre – something ready to be replicated in Bassingbourn, and it has been good to see continuous sharing of ideas and experience between the villages.  

The proposal for the addition of a parish council office makes eminent sense and will help make the parish council accessible to the public, and offer much needed space to a busy parish council serving a large community.  Again, this follows examples of success elsewhere, including Melbourn and Gamlingay.

Bassingbourn has a strong walking and cycling culture, as evidence by a recent village cycling survey and by a particularly energetic campaigns to promote walking to school.  Most recently this has been supported by the County Council’s Emergency Active Travel Fund bid.  The village bus service, only this month established on a commercial basis and with the a stop restored for its North End neighbourhood, once again provide a direct public transport link to the proposed site.  Indeed, the trend in all parts of the village is to discourage car use in favour of active and sustainable transport, good for the environment and very much in keeping with the County Council’s Public Health campaign for active travel.

It is difficult to see another equally good opportunity for a village hall for Bassingbourn, and I hope very much that this opportunity will be seized. There will be much work ahead but there is an obvious head of steam and a strong sense of interest and commitment from the community to see the project to fruition.

Sincerely yours,

Susan van de Ven

County Councillor, Melbourn and Bassingbourn Division

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