The owners of the barn, CERN, have told us that they are not prepared to lease the land and buildings to us, rather they are looking to sell the freehold. The Parish Council has discussed the implications of this and decided that as the cost of the freehold and the remedial works far exceed the available budget that they will recommend to the Village Hall Committee that the project be abandoned.
Sadly there has been little interest from residents, and nobody volunteering to help with the project. So it is likely that the Village Hall Committee and Parish Council will decide that seeking additional funding would not be worth it.
The chances are that this was the one opportunity to rescue this building and to provide a community space for the village.
An opportunity has arisen for the purchase of the Black Barn, and adjoining Cart Sheds, adjacent to the George. The council are undertaking a comprehensive feasibility study to see if it can be economically restored and converted to become a community facility in the heart of the village.
It is likely to be a complex and expensive project and to succeed will require the commitment and support of the whole village. If the feasibility study shows it to be possible the VHC will work with BPC, combining funds and joining forces to seek further funding and grant aid.
The benefit to the village will be considerable, providing a much needed hall and meeting rooms, with kitchen and handy next door pub and possibly a community shop. The barn and cart sheds have been unused for a long time, the council believe that converting for use as a village facility could be ideal.
For full details and notes on progress please follow the link.
The council has commissioned an initial report and sketch plan from a local firm of architects who are experienced in this kind of work.
Their report can be downloaded by following this link.
The initial ideas for the use of the space are outlined in this sketch floor plan.
An opportunity has arisen for the village to purchase the Black Barn, and adjoining cart sheds, adjacent to the George. It is currently owned by Babraham Farms.
Whilst clearly decrepit and unused for at least 35 years it is an opportunity that BPC and the Village Hall Committee believe should be thoroughly investigated. The council has begun a detailed, professional feasibility study to determine whether it can be successfully and economically converted to a community facility.
Initial sketches have been produced by a local firm of architects and a request for pre-planning advice made to SCDC planners and listed building officers. The initial architects report and sketches can be seen here
The feasibility study is to be completed by 2 July. If the study shows the scheme feasible and affordable then the VHC/BPC will put the scheme to the village seeking approval and commitment. The freehold will, if sufficient community support is forthcoming, be purchased and donated by a benefactor. It is the intention that the VHC funds will be used to return the building to a safe and secure state, and to complete as much of the conversion as can be afforded. Clearly it is an expensive project and will require additional fund raising and a considerable amount of community participation, help and involvement.
Both BPC and VHC believe that the benefit to the village now and for the future is considerable. Having a community hall with meeting rooms and with space for a shop etc. right in the centre of the village will be very valuable, but not at any cost.
This section of the web site will publish details of the plans and ideas, will note progress as it is being made and will be a forum for opinion.
Key areas of the feasibility study.
- 1: Architects and Structural Engineers are preparing a full technical feasibility assessment with expected costings detailed as far as is possible.
- 2: SCDC planners and conservation officers have been consulted as to their opinion regarding the conversion. They are expected to issue a design brief that will determine how the building can be used whilst conserving its historic significance.
- 3: Local landowners and neighbours are being consulted as to their opinions, concerns etc.
- 4: As the available funds are unlikely to be enough to fully complete the project BPC are looking at how we may beg, borrow or obtain what otherwise be expensive fittings and fixtures. These will include kitchen fittings, lighting, tables and chairs and anything else we can get that will be useful.
- 5: Other sources of funding and grant aid are being investigated, their likelihood of success being assessed.
- 6: An estimation of the amount and degree of local support will need to be made. This project will not succeed unless the village as a whole is committed and gets involved.
The window of opportunity we have is limited so the feasibility study is progressing with all speed. The village will be fully consulted before any decision is taken on the go ahead or not of the project. If in the meantime you have an opinion or have anything to say then please contact the council directly by following this email link or use this sites contact form.
A bit of a premature invitation – sorry. It seems it was only intended for the actual Parish Councillors. Just look at the perks we get 😉
Sorry again, come for the ride anyway.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire Team have confirmed that other suppliers than BT are now able to offer fibre broadband packages to those houses and businesses served from the Babraham junction box, near Jonas.
It seems, however, that Talk Talk have made a commercial decision not to provide the service to their customers in the village. We understand that fibre broadband is available through BT, EE, John Lewis broadband, Plusnet and possibly Sky and others.
The PC would like anyone who either can or cannot be connected with their current provider who is not on the list above to let us know so we can advise others.
At the September PC meeting we learned that plans are well underway for the cycleway through the research campus grounds that will link all our local cycleways. It is not yet clear when work will begin but the intention of all parties is strong and agreement on status and route is near.
The new cycleway from Cambridge to the research campus is waiting for BT to relocate its telegraph poles before it can be finally finished. It is however starting to be used by both cyclists and pedestrians. Like the Babraham Sawston cycleway we are sure use will exceed expectation.
The PC has learned recently that despite our summer of negotiations with SCDC planners and CCC highways we have failed to achieve a commitment from the football club to finance traffic management and calming measures in the High Street. Both local authorities have decided to disregard our arguments that the stadium and its associated car boot sales will result in significant amounts of extra traffic. The application is now to be decided by the Secretary of State, the PC is not allowed to send him our comments and concerns. We don’t know when this decision is to be made.
Sawston will benefit by the creation of new community sports facilities and traffic mitigation measures, Babraham will get nothing as the assumption is that no traffic will come this way. The PC has no further possibility of changing their minds – sorry.
BT inform us that the installation problems for some village numbers has now been sorted. They are taking orders for broadband services again now.
With many thanks to the Institute the footpath bridge is now safe and open again.