Re-think over heritage centre

Proposals to create a heritage centre in Hayfield Parish Offices have left the village bitterly divided.
Proposals to create a heritage centre in Hayfield Parish Offices have left the village bitterly divided.

PLANS for a Kinder Mass Trespass heritage centre in Hayfield look set to be revised in a bid to ensure the project goes ahead.

The move comes after the Parish Council determined that the council office at Dungeon Brow could not be used as previously proposed.

And problems emerged over planning permission and a town and village green application which has been lodged.

Former councillor John Harvey urged the council to consider handing the project over completely to the steering committee set up to oversee the project.

He said the dedicated team were determined to have some sort of presence in the village and were already looking at collecting material.

“The Steering Group feel strongly that it can only succeed with hard work and real commitment from people driving it,” he said.

“The people who have put in the hard work are steering group members and I don’t believe the parish council is interested or has the capacity to make the project work.”

He said he had already had informal talks with lottery funders and been told they would consider an application from the Steering Group for them to take over the grant and responsibility for employing the project co-ordinator who is already in post.

Council Chairman Eva Hodgson said initially it was believed planning permission would not be needed for a small addition to the council building but that it had since emerged that the land in question was common land and it would need permission from the Secretary of State.

She said the plans had been further complicated by a town and village green application being made.

“Clearly the parish council need to get to grips with the issues as soon as possible, not least because we have an obligation to report any changes of circumstances to the grant funders,” she said.

Cllr Betty Betts said: “The majority of people aren’t against a heritage centre but don’t want it in the council office building.”

Members agreed that the suggestion put forward by the Steering Group could be a sensible way forward but wanted further investigations.