Dorking Rock Choir - Fund Raiser for VH Development

May 20, 2024

Join us for a night of music and fun at the Holy Trinity Church on the 7th June. Tickets only £10!


2023 Annual Report and Accounts final

April 25, 2024

2023 annual report and accounts final

The final 2023 accounts are now released and available for public review.

Click Here to review


Westcott Village Hall: is Looking for New Trustees

March 8, 2024

Westcott Village Hall Trust CIO is the charity which runs Westcott Village Hall for

the benefit of our community. The charity is currently governed by 6 trustees but

this can be as many as 12 trustees.

Our constitutional policy requires us to refresh and renew the group of trustees by

appointing new trustees regularly. This enables us to involve established and new

trustees in the management of Westcott Village Hall, ensuring that all our residents

have the opportunity to get involved. With the current redevelopment project we

meet on average around once a month.

Accordingly, we now invite applications by inhabitants of Westcott and the

surrounding area who are willing to put themselves forward (or who are nominated

with their consent by other residents) for appointment to become trustees of

Westcott Village Hall Trust CIO.

If you are interested in helping us shape the future of your village hall, please email by with a few words about your background and

your reasons for wanting to become involved. No specialist skills are needed, but

an interest in making Westcott Village Hall a vibrant community asset would

obviously help.

We will contact you for an informal discussion with the intention that the incoming

trustees be appointed at a trustees’ open meeting, which is to be held on April 24th


Sally Hewetson

Interim Chairman

Westcott Village Hall Trust CIO


Development Consultation - Thanks for all your feedback

December 7, 2023

Development Consultation Feedback

Dear Westcott residents

 We would like to thank you for all your time and feedback on the development consultancy.

Just over 200 people attended the consultation event and we received in excess of 250 completed questionnaires.


Our advisers have commented that they cannot recall a consultation with such strong participation and positive contribution. Thank you for your part in this.


The overwhelming message is that 95% were in favour of re-providing a community building which provides broad support for this project. We do have clarity from this consultation on the overall preferences but it would be inappropriate for us to confirm these, or commit further expense, until we have had the opportunity to test these in a pre-application meeting with Mole Valley Council. This meeting is now being arranged.


Aside from more specific neighbour comments, key comments which we have noted as a priority for our on-going work include:-


1.    Furlong Road - managing the potential loss of some on street parking on Furlong Road and addressing congestion concerns

2.    Size of the community building - to be no smaller than the existing hall and preferably larger, to consider an upper level and to maximise parking

3.    Meeting housing needs and, in particular, smaller houses are preferred 

4.    Sustainability- to ensure that the new community building is adaptable, robust, low maintenance, has modern eco credentials and provides a lasting positive impact for the community

5.    Business Plan - reassurance that the trustees can present a business plan which supports the on-going operation of the hall going forward


We will provide further updates to you by email and via the usual village news channels as we move the project towards a planning application in 2024.


Further comments are welcome to And if you believe that you have a specific skill or contribution you would like to offer to the trustees, we would be delighted to hear from you!


For reference, here is the link to the display boards and general info on the proposals:-

With kind regards.


Westcott Village Hall Trustees


Westcott Village Hall Public Consultation - Held on 1st November 2023

December 5, 2023

Thank you to the 200 people who made the time to attend our consultation events on 1st and 11th November 2023 and to the c.250 who submitted a survey.

We are very pleased with the level and quality of engagement.

Please keep an eye on all village news outlets for further updates



Update 7 – Development Project Progression

April 22, 2024

Update 7 – Development Project Progression

Although we are still waiting for Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) Planning Department to formally respond to our request for pre-application advice, we have now received an informal response and they have also confirmed what supporting documents they require us to submit with our planning application. Surrey County Council (SCC) has also responded in relation to highways.


We can now confirm that our indicative scheme proposals for the pre-app were based on “Option C” for each site as presented in the community consultation last November. This reflected the strong preferences expressed by our village. Option C is for the new community building to be on the Institute Road site and, to fund the majority of their building costs by using the sale proceeds of the land for nine 2 and 3bedroom houses to be built on the Furlong Road site.


We are pleased to report that the comments received from MVDC and SCC so far are positive and reinforce village preferences.  Assuming the formal response from MVDC is forthcoming by our next Trustee meeting, the Trustees hope to instruct the preparation of a planning application for submission by the end of June.


We will be inviting immediate neighbours of the two sites to briefings before the planning application is submitted and we will keep the broader community and our existing users informed via Our Website and other digital communication channels.


The planning application will include an indicative internal layout of the new community building. This is not fixed however and the developed internal design will be the subject of further consultation with the village and existing users after planning consent has been secured.


Funding the new community building


As we have previously said the charity has budgeted sufficient funds to meet the cost of submitting the planning application and this position remains unchanged.


An approval of our planning application is our route to unlocking the residential land value of the Furlong Road site that the trustees would then need to sell. We expect the proceeds of this sale will provide the majority of the funding for the new community building and we have a clear strategy to secure top-up grant funding for this building project.


Shorter-term Fundraising and Community Support


It is a priority for the trustees that we maintain funds for the operation and management of the Village Hall to ensure that it remains open for business until we replace the building. We need to raise £6,000 in 2024 to replenish our operational fund to a prudent level.

To raise money the trustees held a TableTop sale on Saturday 20th April.. There is  still be time to get involved in the Quiznight on Saturday 18th May and the Rock Choir night on Friday 7thJune. Adverts are in the village magazine with QR codes for online ticket purchases.

You can purchase both event tickets on the Eventbrite website:-

Quiz night with Jon and Mum Pie and Mash -

Rock Choir at the trinity Church-

These fundraising events are really important for us. We will use all money raised to maintain and operate the current village hall. The fund-raising events will also be used to demonstrate to external funding organisations that the village is engaged and part of this process. You can help us by getting involved and supporting us by buying tickets. Alternatively, please feel free to book the hall for your own event!

Sally Hewetson

Interim Chair


Westcott Village Hall Development Plan : Update 6

March 6, 2024

Westcott Village Hall DevelopmentPlan : Update 6

Update 6 – Programme Delay, Fundraising and Community Support

Programme Delay

The trustees’ professional advisers submitted a document and request for pre-application advice from Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) Planning Department just before Christmas. This was registered in early January.  At the time of writing MVDC planners have confirmed that they have not yet started reviewing this and this sadly means a delay to our programme of at least a month so far. 

The Development Group and their advisers continue to use the waiting time constructively and have tendered quotations for all reports which might be required to support a planning application when this can be submitted.  And further consideration is also being given to the implementation options for the project when planning consent has been secured.

The trustees will continue to reflect the preferences and feedback from the village consultation held in November last year and advice from MVDC in preparing the planning application. We will then ensure that details of the proposed planning application scheme are shared with neighbours of the two sites and the village is notified via and other digital communication channels before the planning application is submitted to MVDC. We believe the earliest an application could now be submitted is June 2024. This application will primarily be focused on access, site layout, building scale and massing and materials and will not yet include the developed internal design for the new community building. This will be the subject of further consultation with the village and existing users after planning consent has been secured.


The Village Hall, Fundraising and Community Support

It is a priority for the trustees that we have and maintain funds for the operation and management of the Village Hall to ensure that it remains open for business. In addition, we currently have sufficient funds to meet the cost of submitting the planning application.  However there will be some further technical information that will be needed post planning consent and further funds will be needed to meet these costs.  The trustees are therefore focusing on fundraising initiatives. We are holding a Table Top Sale on 20th April, a Pie and Mash – Quiz Evening on 18th May and a Rock Choir Evening on 7th June 2024. Details of all events are set out in adverts in this edition.  Please get involved in our endeavours, this project is now at the stage where we all need to start to work together to deliver our new village hall.

The trustees have recently been successful in a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) application for a sum of money needed for health and safety work on the existing building and have recently initiated two grant applications to help meet the professional fees post-planning. We expect to make further grant applications as and when they are needed.

Jim Brodrick has recently joined the trustees and we are extremely grateful to have his extra help and support. There is an open meeting on April 24th at 7pm at the Village Hall. Please come along and get involved.

Sally Hewetson

Interim Chair


Update 5 – Submission of pre-application request to Mole Valley District Council

January 8, 2024

Update 5 – Submission of pre-application request to Mole Valley District Council

The trustees’ professional advisers have submitted a pre-application document with a covering letter requesting pre-application advice from MoleValley District Council Planning Department.  Our advisers set out in some detail  the limitations and opportunities offered by both the Hut and the current  Village Hall sites, setting out ideas for site layout, general design, car  parking and highlighting community engagement and preferences  expressed during the recent public consultation exercise. This is a process  that gives both applicant and planners an opportunity to raise any major concerns and to resolve them before the final planning application is submitted.


The trustees should hopefully be in the position to update residents on the outcome of the pre-application process within the next two months and then expect to submit an actual planning application later on this spring. This application will primarily be focussed on access, site layout, building  scale and massing and materials and will not yet include the developed internal design. Mindful of spending trustee funds wisely, the developed and technical design stages will follow receipt of planning permission when secured.


Sally Hewetson

Interim Chair


Westcott Village Hall Development Plan : Update 4

June 15, 2023

Update 4 - Appointment of architects, a planning consultant and a valuer

At their meeting on 14 June the trustees of Westcott Village Hall Trust approved the appointment of architects, a planning consultant and a valuer.

This will enable an options feasibility exercise to be progressed on the Westcott Village Hall and former Hut sites.

The outcome of this exercise will inform a village consultation, to be held later in the year, on potential development options which could be taken forward for a planning application

Bernd Ratzke

On behalf of the Westcott Village Hall Development Group

15 June 2023


Westcott Village Hall Development Plan : Update 3

April 6, 2023

Update 3 - Appointment of development project manager

I am pleased to be able to report that the trustees of Westcott Village Hall have decided to invite Stace LLP to take up the role of Project Manager and to provide cost consultancy services for the project to redevelop the sites in Institute Road and Furlong Road. The appointment follows a selection process from a group of several providers who tendered for these services and a recommendation by the Development Group that Stace be appointed, based on a combination of cost, experience/reputation and the fact that their lead professional for the project lives in Epsom.

Stace’s immediate task is to help the Development Group appoint architects and planning consultants to the project who will be producing and advising on such options for the two sites as may enable a new community building to be funded. In due course these will be

presented to the village for consultation. One other ‘process’ step that is being implemented immediately, and which may generate visible activity in the coming weeks, is that consultants will be undertaking some ecology surveys, i.e. checking for the presence of wildlife on the sites whose habitat may need to be safeguarded.

Bernd Ratzke

On behalf of the Westcott Village Hall Development Group

6 April 2023


Westcott Village Hall Development Plan : Update 2

February 8, 2023

Update 2 - Project Manager Selection

In our January village magazine update we confirmed that we would be running a selection process for a professional Project Manager. We have met three suitable candidates and have written proposals in from all of them. We will be providing a recommendation to the trustees for them to make a decision and hope an appointment will be made during March.

More immediately, the Development Group recommended some pretty extensive vegetation clearance and trimming of the boundaries to tidy up the former Hut and bowling green site. A quote from David Ford Tree Care has been accepted by the trustees. Close neighbours should expect a day with the sound of machinery on Wednesday, 1st March, but we hope the end result will provide a more satisfactory outlook for all near neighbours. Out of neighbourly courtesy and to prevent further deterioration, the trustees have also agreed to carry out some minor repairs to the left-hand side of the wall separating Westcott Village Hall from Institute Road.

Bernd Ratzke

On behalf of the Westcott Village Hall Development Group

8 February 2023


Westcott Village Hall Development Plan

December 8, 2022

Proposed Plan Update

Those of you who were at the WVA Open Meeting on 7 December will already know that there is good news and there is bad news. The bad news (as some may think) is that I am back. The good news is that the plan to do something with The Hut and (what was) The Reading Room may now finally be making some progress.

Not much happened since the Charity Commission granted the ‘Cy-près’ scheme in May 2022 which consolidated the old charities into what has now rebranded as Westcott Village Hall. However, those trustees who were in office at the time of the merger did succeed in recruiting a number of additional volunteers as trustees to broaden the representation across the village. Irrespective of the intention to create a better village hall facility to replace the two existing structures, continuous renewal of the trustee group is a vital aspect of good governance for community assets. As a heads-up, you will see an invitation in the next magazine calling on those interested in becoming trustees to make themselves known in time for the next renewal cycle, due to take place in May. More details next month.

So where are we now? You may recall that James Leaver and I were heavily involved in the validation exercise which preceded the merger. That was designed to establish whether, in time and with a bit of luck, the numbers might add up to fund the construction of a new village hall. James is a chartered surveyor; I am a solicitor. Both of us have long experience in working on infra-structure projects for institutional and other clients, but neither of us are seasoned ‘Project Managers’, i.e. the person who actually runs the team of architects, planners, lawyers, quantity surveyors and transport advisers (to name but a few) who need to be hired and managed to lead a planning application process on which the village has been properly consulted.

The trustees have now decided that (i) to make progress, they really do have to appoint a Project Manager and that (ii) he or she can only be effective if working with a small sub- group of trustees, leaving the majority of trustees to concentrate on the daily running of Westcott Village Hall until and unless key decisions require all-trustees approval. In the light of that sensible conclusion, James and I have agreed to return to work pro-bono as part of a Development Group to which Dr Helen Everett and Sally Hewetson have been seconded as trustee representatives. Helen is a senior Government research scientist and Civil Servant well used to working with delegated reporting structures and Sally worked for many years for Mole Valley District Council’s property team as a principal surveyor. James and I will support the Project Manager and help Helen and Sally fulfil their reporting obligations to the full group of trustees, and to the village as the Charity Commission will require. Our first job as a Development Group will be to recommend a Project Manager for appointment by decision of all trustees.

I hope that in time the Project Manager will take over production of these updates.

Bernd Ratzke

On behalf of the Westcott Village Hall Development Group

8 December 2022