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Tuesday March 09, 2021

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Residents of Sessay and Hutton Sessay attended a design workshop recently to consider what new facilities are needed in the community for sports and recreation in the future.

The workshop, organised by the Parish Council for representatives of key local groups and organisations, was expertly facilitated by Erin Pettewalsh, an urban designer, and Charlotte Myrhum of ‘Places Matter’, an organisation working closely with the Royal Institute of British Architects.  The event set out to understand what local people think and feel about the existing Village Hall and sports facilities, and to consider what a new community building/sports pavilion should look like, as well as the functions that it should serve.    The needs of the whole community are central to these plans.

VH Seminar 1

Residents took a close look at a range of community buildings from across the UK and the United States, each demonstrating innovative modern design and sitting well in its environment, yet maximising the local ‘wow’ factor.  Sessay has uninterrupted views of the Kilburn White Horse and parts of the Parish sit within an area of local landscape importance.  The community is sensitive to protecting the area’s natural beauty, but keen to improve the visual appearance and build quality of any future building by sympathetic siting, and by using local and natural materials in any new construction.  A key theme that emerged was that the building should be light, bright and airy and make the most of the views.

VH Seminar 2

The community is also keen to maximise the potential of the building to bring visitors to the Parish, provide space to display material from the Sessay Archive, a local history project, and to provide opportunities for local business and economic growth.

VH Seminar 3

John MacPherson, Parish Council Chair said 'This has been a great opportunity for the community to come together to discuss what we need from a new community centre / sports pavilion, and to start to think about what opportunities exist for new activities and initiatives.  It was heartening to see the amount of unity and common purpose within the community about our requirements and the way forward.

A big thank you to Darren Ratcliffe for introducing Erin and Charlotte to us, and to Parish Clerk julia Oyston for organising a great event.  And not forgetting the superb lunch provided by Jacquie of Coco Vanilla



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