Scout hall plan submitted

First published in News

PLANNING permission is being sought for a new scout headquarters in Staindrop to replace the group's existing dilapidated hut.

Proposals have been drawn up for Staindrop Scouts and Guides for a new state-of-the-art, multi-use building to replace its rundown 80-year-old timber hut.

A fundraising campaign by the Scout group and Guide troop, which has more than 100 five to 18-year-old members, is currently underway to raise £155,000 for a new and bigger facility.

The proposed development would be built with materials found elsewhere in the village to reflect its surroundings and feature several renewable resources, such as rainwater harvesting and air source heating.

There would be disabled access and toilets, a kitchen area and secure lobby for parents waiting to collect children.

To address concerns about crime, the building would include high-level windows and security cameras and lighting.

A planning application submitted to Durham County Council states: “The scout and guide hut is a necessary building in the community of Staindrop.

“This new building will not take away from any of the existing halls, as it already has its users.

“It is necessary to increase (the size of) this scout hut to enable it to take the numbers of children on the waiting list who cannot join at present due to the limited hall size.

“There are nine groups currently using the hut and it is in use six evenings a week.

“In addition to this, the proposal is that the new building could possibly be used during the daytime for parent and toddler groups or children’s birthday parties, although this is not necessary for the sustainability of the building.”

Issues at the current hut include a problem with rodents, only one toilet, no hot water and inadequate space and storage.

Without a new facility the groups face an uncertain future.

Group scout leader, Jacqui Nicholson said if the plans are approved the door will open to new funding opportunities.

She said: “Planning permission is pivotal.

“Without it we have to think again about the whole project.

“We are awaiting the outcome of a few applications but with so many people going for so few pots of money it is difficult raising the funds.

“Planning permission would enable us to apply to other, larger funds.

“The project is so important and we’re so dedicated to doing this for young people who don’t have much to do around here, particularly the older ones, and value the benefits of scouting.”

A fundraising concert and barbecue will be held in the grounds of Staindrop Primary School on Sunday, July 13, from 4pm, at the end of the village’s carnival weekend.

A new cub leader is also needed from July.

Groups interested in performing for free or anyone interested in becoming leader can contact Mrs Nicholson on 07834-370780.

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