Building a sustainable future for our school and our villages

FAQ

Why was Brenchley21 set up?

Brenchley 21 was founded as a Community Interest Company and tasked, by the School Governing Body, to explore ways that the community of Brenchley and Matfield could come together to solve the challenge of the current school buildings approaching the end if their useful life.

Who created the CIC and are they being paid?

The CIC was founded by Richard Beale, Andrew Cunningham & Nigel Woodward.

No, Directors of the CIC will not be paid as for their involvement. Each member has graciously volunteered their time and energy towards the project, for the good of the school and the villages

In addition, they have generously chosen to loan their own money to Brenchley21 to keep the project alive and these loans will be repaid in full as soon as funds allow.

Borrowing money to fund the design of the scheme and pay for the planning application is a necessary part of the process. Some grants which have been investigated require matched funding from the community. In preparation for this, the directors of Brenchley21 have taken appropriate legal advice and at an open meeting in September 2018 a request was made for money to be loaned by supporters in the Villages. These unsecured loans are classed as high risk investments as if the project fails the money will be lost, so an interest rate of 15% is being offered. Neither CIC members nor directors of Brenchley21 will be excluded from investing via these loans, alongside other villagers, in the success of the project.

How can I get involved?

The CIC is a democratic organisation and you can become a 'member' and have a say in what the CIC does.
Click here to find out more

Will members of the CIC be paid for their involvement?

No. Members of the CIC will not be paid as part of their involvement. Each member is asked to volunteered their time and energy towards the project, for the good of the school and the villages.

Borrowing money to fund the design of the scheme and pay for the planning application is a necessary part of the process. Some grants which have been investigated require matched funding from the community. In preparation for this, the directors of Brenchley21 have taken appropriate legal advice and at an open meeting in September 2018 a request was made for money to be loaned by supporters in the Villages. These unsecured loans are classed as high risk investments as if the project fails the money will be lost, so an interest rate of 15% is being offered. Neither CIC members nor directors of Brenchley21 will be excluded from investing via these loans, alongside other villagers, in the success of the project.

Who is 'getting a house' out of the scheme?

Payment 'in kind' via a house on the new site is included in the agreements with the land owner, of the new school site, and the architect.
No other individuals or companies get such treatment. “Giving” houses is a relatively cheap way for the CIC to get land or services. The value of the gift is the market rate for the property, but the costs to the CIC is the, much lower, build cost.

How did eCorby and Carbon Free get involved?

Nigel has known eCorby founder Joe Dickinson for 15 years and learnt of his work in developments and eco housing schemes. Joe introduced Andrew and Nigel to Carbon Free’s Anthony Morgan – and decided that their collective thinking would be an innovative addition for the venture.

Are the Walkers really donating the land?

Yes, but there are a couple of strings attached.
The would like to build a home on a plot near the new school site and the CIC will apply for planning permission for this, and they will also be gifted a property on the old school site.
Brenchley21 feel that this is a small price to pay for the land for a school as, with planning permission for the school, the donated land would be worth a lot.
It is chicken and egg – the Walkers have an asset which is valuable to the village and they all they really want it to build themselves a home and join our community.
Overall, the Walkers’ remuneration will cost the CIC £250-300,000 being the build cost of their school site house and a share of planning application costs. The Walkers will be meeting their own architect design and construction costs.

What is the community building all about, we have enough of these already?

This is not another set of meeting rooms. It is to house new functions which a modern 21st Century village might have. It represents the foundations of a new hub for the village – where people drive to, located conveniently to synchronise with daily movements – ie school runs,
This building could house a variety of activities – all subject to desires of the community – internet shopping collections, drop in office, primary healthcare, hair dresser, gym, etc etc.
It also gives us the opportunity to create an attractive Kentish building at the front of the site – which is currently a derelict orchard.

Is the current Dentist site included?

NO – there have been discussions via the present dentist, Dave Bush, but the owner, Colin Riley does not want to sell.

Dave Bush does have plans to expand and the community building could well provide some overflow capacity and also host a range of new primary care clinics.

How will the school and houses be built?

The Architect has recommended that the school should be built using a system called "Tufeco" Tufeco is a next generation, digitally manufactured & deployed build system. Made from recycled glass, the monolithic panelled flat pack kits form the foundation pad, walls, roof and intermediate flooring.

The current plan is for the houses to use a system called "4-Wall" – a modern and highly insulated building system using SIPS (structural Insulated panels).

What grants have been received to date?

The CiC has received £49,000 in grant money. £9,000 towards pre feasibility studies and £40,000 towards the planning application and other costs. Recipients of monies to date include Stephen Langer, DHA Planning, eCorby, Carbon Free Group, Bates Wells Brathwaite, Cripps Harries Hall, Boundaries Partnering, TWBC, Heritage Collective, Landscape Collective, Archeological Collective and KCC Highways.
As at January 2019 the CiC has an application in to Homes England – a Government body, for further funds to support the planning application.

Will the play rooftop area be dangerous?

NO - The safety of all users of the school is paramount.

This area will be at ground level to the car park and will provide a safe and supervised play area for children to use as they arrive at school in the morning, before they are called into class. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the start of the school day.

There is a balance to be found between giving access to this area and maintaining uninterrupted views across our beautiful landscape. As part of the design process we are looking at suitable fencing and potentially the use of toughened glass.

Why do we need a new school?

The school was obviously built on a tight budget and there has been insufficient resources available, over several decades, to carry out remedial works and maintenance.  

The school governors commissioned a full building survey that highlighted the need for significant works in the medium to long term. There is very limited funding available and this is being spent on schools in a worst condition than ours. The option to do nothing, and wait for the condition to deteriorate, until we are eligible for some of the very limited funding is not one that the school governors wish to take. A more proactive approach is required.  

Consultation Event

Friday 22nd February 3pm to 8 pm

&

Saturday 23rd February 10:30am to 2:30pm

Brenchley & Matfield Primary School

DOWNLOAD OR PRINT INFORMATION FLYER

Consultation Event

Friday 22nd February 3pm to 8 pm

&

Saturday 23rd February 10:30am to 2:30pm

Brenchley & Matfield Primary School

DOWNLOAD OR PRINT INFORMATION FLYER