A VILLAGE could get a new community hall if plans get the green light.

Tolleshunt D'Arcy Parish Council has applied to demolish the existing village hall, on Tollesbury Road, and build a new £870,000 "community hub".

It comes after a long fundraising drive to pay for the project.

The council says the current building is outdated and expensive to heat and maintain.

The hall is more than 100 years old, with poor flooring and other areas where there is rot.

It is described as "unfit for purpose and has come to the end of its useful life".

The new building would have a hall, kitchen, toilets and community rooms, with parking for seven vehicles at the front.

It will be ten per cent bigger than the old village hall.

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The site is in a conservation area, but the parish council says there will be no impact on nearby listed buildings.

The planning application says: "Although the footprint of the new hall is larger than that of the existing hall, the scale of the building has been designed to be similar to that of the existing building and therefore sit comfortably within the existing street scene and not result in a prominent feature.

"Maldon District Council’s conservation officer was consulted during the pre-application process and raised no objection to the proposal, with no concerns in terms of the visual impact on the site and conservation area."

The building will be built of red brick, with a zinc-clad roof, and be disability-friendly.

The proposed hall

The proposed hall

It has been designed to provide a focal point for community life as well as a wide range of services and activities for all ages.

The application adds: "The position and layout of the development site is similar to the existing, however the replacement hall will be placed centrally on the site but set further back within the plot than the existing building to provide car parking spaces at the front and an amenity area at the rear."

All significant trees along the boundaries will be kept.

The proposed hall

The proposed hall

MP Priti Patel visited the hall last July to see how badly it needs to be replaced.

Former Maldon District Council chief executive Fiona Marshall hosted the visit with Essex Deputy Chief Constable Charles Clark and Robert Morgan, who is part of the Tolleshunt D’Arcy village hall working group, which is raising the money for the project.

Speaking at the time, Ms Patel said: “From what I have seen today, it is quite clear that the building is in a poor state and badly needs to be replaced.

“Every village needs a focal point and gathering place that it can be proud of, but the present village hall falls well short of the standard required.

“The fundraising campaign has my full support and I will be doing my best to put the Tolleshunt D’Arcy village hall working group in touch with the right people."

Maldon District Council will decide on the application.