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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 27/03/2007
Museum of Farnham Garden Classroom

Waverley Borough Council


[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

Summary and purpose:

In December 2006 the Council gave authority to officers to work up proposals for the re-development of the Museum Classroom and to submit the necessary applications to external funding organisations, including a Stage 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the project. This report seeks authority for officers to draw up detailed plans and to submit an application for Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent associated with the proposed development. The necessary consents are required in order to be eligible for funding through the HLF.

Environmental implications:

The current garden gallery is decaying and leaking, aesthetically it is unattractive and out of keeping with the rest of the surrounding conservation area. The building is also poor in relation to energy efficiency. A new facility could make use of natural resources in its design; it would improve the local environment by providing a more aesthetic building, more in-keeping with its environment. In addition, the environmental benefits include:

v use of natural materials
v enhancing the site by replacing an ugly prefab with a building more appropriate to the setting
v fully insulated and fuel efficient facility
v maximising the potential of the site by developing the educational opportunities of the rear garden
v making environmental improvements to the existing garden.

Social / community implications:

The current garden classroom is in a poor state of repair and cannot meet the needs of all groups who would wish to use it. An improved facility would help to attract new audiences and priority would be given to tackling social inclusion through the programming of the new facility and the educational work. A new facility would also provide an opportunity to support local groups and organisations and could provide a venue for local businesses to hire, which would increase the Museum’s capacity to generate revenue. As a runner-up in The Guardian’s National Family Friendly Museums Award, this facility will increase the facilities available to families in particular. In addition the social benefits include:

v providing affordable space for community groups to meet or hire for exhibitions and events
v filling a gap in Adult Education provision in the community
v working with day centres and retirement homes to provide an outreach programme
v provide training for volunteers such as NADFAS, Friends of the Museum etc.
v encourage FDMS to return to museum premises for meetings, events and lecture programme
v working with disadvantaged youth groups
v working with adults with learning difficulties by establishing heritage projects lasting several months at a time
v providing more space to cater for a wider range of family activities
v providing greater accessibility to the museum collection, especially for the disabled.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

Funding to prepare detailed plans for the proposed classroom has been secured from the HLF in the form of a Stage 1 grant. The cost of submitting the planning and listed building applications is being funded from the grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Stage 2 submission to the HLF should include confirmation that the necessary consents have been submitted, as the relevant consents will be a key requirement on which the funding is based. Full details of the development costs and finding awarded by the HLF were reported to the Executive on 9th November 2006.

Due to the fact that the legal title to the Museum is still in the name of Surrey County Council, Waverley will have to serve a notice on the County Council to advise them of the proposed planning application for the works. It should be noted that Waverley owns the equitable interest in the property and acts as if it were the legal owner in all but name, following an agreement reached in the 1960s between the County Council and Farnham Urban District Council. The legal situation has been explained to the HLF.

The Proposal

1. The proposed garden classroom will be a single-storey building located in the rear garden of the Museum at a distance of 20m from the main house. It will replace the current flat-roofed, pre-fabricated building, which was built in the 1960’s. The garden classroom will be a multi-use facility, which will not only improve on the current facilities but will assist in attracting new audiences and developing/extending the current education programme. A wide range of additional activities will be developed which will open the Museum up to a large number of new users. The proposed multi-use facility will provide a separate education room and exhibition/display room, which can be combined for larger activities/events or used by two different groups at the same time. The facility would also include toilet/wash facilities and a small kitchen area. The garden area at the back of the facility could also be brought back into use and provide an area of garden which could be used for educational purposes.

2. The scheme requires planning permission and listed building consent as it is located within the curtilage of an existing Grade I listed building. The Council’s Historic Buildings Officer has been engaged in early discussions regarding the refurbishment and possible redevelopment. English Heritage has also been consulted and is satisfied that the proposal would meet their requirements. Plans for the proposed building will be on display at the meeting.


3. In order to progress with the Stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, officers are required to demonstrate that Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent has been sought. Officers are therefore seeking approval to submit the necessary plans as required.


It is recommended that a first resolution in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General) Regulations 1992 be made to allow a planning application to be submitted for the redevelopment of the Museum of Farnham Garden Classroom and that Surrey County Council be formally notified.

Background Papers (DoEL)

Stage 1 Application to Heritage Lottery Fund and supporting papers.


Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432

E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk