Growing marching band wants to build new Sandhurst practice hallBy Jennie Slevin
January 29, 2013
A marching band which has outgrown its practice hall wants to build a community space in Sandhurst.
Sandhurst and District Corps of Drums has drawn up proposals being backed by Sandhurst Town Council to build on Brookside Meadow in the Memorial Park.
Although still in the early stages, the corps is keen to find out what neighbours think of the plans, especially as the town has a lack of community spaces.
Mark Saunders, band director, said: “We want to see what people think about it so that, when we do come to submitting plans, we’ve got the best chance possible.
“The band wouldn’t be in there all the time, we’d use it when we wanted and hire it out to other groups to try to get the community to use it too.
“Sandhurst is a lovely place to live, but there’s not the facilities we need for big groups – if I could hire a different hall rather than build a new one I would.”
The corps formed in 2005 and meets in the 2nd Sandhurst Scout hut in Yorktown Road, College Town, but with membership increasing the hut is no longer suitable for the group.
He added: “The hall we’re in now is quite old. It’s a typical Scout hall that’s very cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer.
“It’s not really big enough; we need more rooms so we can have multiple lessons going on at once.
“We have to ask some of the kids to come in and rehearse on a Sunday afternoon as we can’t do everything at once where we are.”
Mayor of Sandhurst Town Council, Councillor Dale Birch, said there has always been a shortage of space in Sandhurst for community groups to meet.
He said: “The main thing with the Corps of Drums is they have been so successful and so popular that they need more room to practise.
“It will be built on an area that’s specifically for community use and will hire it out when they’re not using it. It’s a very community centric idea.”
The town council also plans to place a permanent car park on Brookside Meadows which would involve sharing parking spaces with the Corps of Drums hall.
The plans will be explained to neighbours in Sandhurst Town Council’s next newsletter and they will be given the opportunity to express their views through a public consultation.