01444 711170 save@clairhall.org

Clair Hall

Run by the Community for the Community

Updates From The Save Clair Hall Group

5 July 2024

📢 Save Clair Hall – Legal Challenge Against Mid Sussex District Council

The Haywards Heath Community CIC as part of the ‘Save Clair Hall’ campaign has taken a crucial step to protect our beloved Clair Hall by filing a legal challenge against Mid Sussex District Council. Despite community support and numerous proposals, the Council has failed to make a decision about the future of Clair Hall.

Until it was closed for public events by Mid Sussex District Council in March 2020, Clair Hall has been a vital part of our community, serving as a multifunctional venue with a theatre and other facilities. It’s time to hold the Council accountable and ensure Clair Hall remains a vibrant hub for arts, entertainment, and community activities.

🗓️ Next Steps: The Council must decide the future of Clair Hall by 12 July 2024, or we will consider filing a judicial review.

Join us in this fight! Support our cause and demand transparency and action from the Council.

 

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Click on the above icon to read the legal letter sent to Mid Sussex District Council on 5 July 2024

January – February 2024

Following the Mid Sussex District Council decision to consider community proposals for the future of Clair Hall, the Save Clair Hall Group was delighted to have the opportunity to explain their detailed scheme to refurbish the building and to restore the use of Clair Hall as a viable community asset without risk to the Council and at the earliest opportunity.

The Save Clair Hall Group have now had two three hour sessions on the 31 January 2024 and the 26 February 2024 with the panel of experts appointed by the Council, in the presence of the 12 members of the Council Steering Group. Proposals for delivering the project, how the scheme would operate, the future governance and management of the venue, working with community groups, practical issues regarding the building property, including key issues for environmental improvements, the future viability of the venue and the strategic fit with Council policies were all discussed in detail. The advice of the panel was much appreciated.

Colin Kenward said:
The Council engaged ECF consultants to conduct an extensive public consultation exercise, checking what people wanted from Clair Hall. The Save Clair Hall proposal provides exactly what the public asked for, so we are very hopeful we will be given the opportunity to prove we can deliver”.

It is accepted that of course, any scheme for Clair Hall will require working in close partnership with the Council and the Group explained:
We have taken this proposal as far as they can at this stage in terms of specification, costing and funding without a conditional commitment on which funding applications can be made and firm estimates obtained.”

The Group is therefore eagerly awaiting details of the next steps.

November/December 2023

In response to Mid Sussex District Council’s request on their Engagement Hub, the Save Clair Campaign submitted to the Council a detailed 24-page Expression of  Interest on the 24 November 2023 for retaining and refurbishing Clair Hall.

An addendum to the Expression of Interest, to cover the adjacent Redwood Centre was submitted to the Council on the 11 December 2023.

Some confusion appears to have arisen from an entry on Mid Sussex District Council Engagement Hub relating to Clair Hall which referred to “a request from an individual for their proposal to remain confidential”.  The Save Clair Hall Campaign group, has never sought to keep confidential, their interest in making a submission to the Council for the retention and refurbishment of Clair Hall as a viable, fit for purpose community asset facility. Indeed, as detailed above, our outline Proposal has been widely publicised.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Save Clair Hall Campaign group did ask for the content of the 24 November Expression of Interest and 11 December Addendum submissions to be treated as confidential.  The reason is that these submissions contain detailed and comprehensive commercially sensitive information which should not be made available to other interested parties prior to any selection process.

 

September 2023

On the 8 September 2023, the Save Clair Hall Campaign group published an outline proposal to retain and refurbish the existing Clair Hall building.

The proposal was sent to all Mid Sussex District and Haywards Heath Town Councillors.

The Council’s own poster presentation on their demolish and rebuild vision – which relies on disposing of valuable community land to a developer to fund a new build community centre – ended on the 7 September. The Save Clair Hall Campaign Group needed first to see what was being proposed to submit an alternative proposal.

In contrast to the Council’s demolish and rebuild completion date of 2028 (likely later), the Save Clair Hall Campaign envisages that Clair Hall could be reopened much earlier for community.