A church hall close to the town centre could be sold off for redevelopment, as stakeholders weigh up the future of the site next to All Saints Church.
Members of the public and local councillors attended an open meeting organised by the church to identify how to make the best possible use of the hall for community and church activities and to form a committee to decide and lead action on the future of the site.
The community hall opened in 1939 and features a main auditorium that can seat over 100 people, a stage, two small back rooms, a kitchen, lobby and toilets. There is also a small upstairs section with a further meeting room and toilet. The grounds include a car park for around 20 cars and a large grass area around.
The Hall forms the best community building close to the town centre, while also being within easy range of residential areas on the south and east sides. It is also the biggest and potentially most useful community building in Hertford other than the Sele Community Centre located on the far side of the Sele estate. There is considerable scope for it to play a much bigger role than at present as a local community centre and to thus see far greater use.
Reg Harman, Member, Hertford Civic Society
Whilst the hall is regularly used, income from bookings has not been reinvested and funds have gone to general church accounts. The hall has not been actively managed or maintained in recent years.
Proposals for the future of the hall include handing over responsibility for the building and grounds to a separate independent trust, reflecting a range of local interests, including those of the church.
The Parochial Church Council have also been investigating the potential for redeveloping the site as flats or houses.
Local ward members attending the meeting included Cllrs. Jane Sartin, Jan Goodeve and the Mayor of Hertford Bob Deering.
Any development on the site would be subject to local planning policies that weigh against proposals that result in the "loss of uses, buildings or land for public or community use".
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