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New Pavilion Story.
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New Pavilion Story.

 Read the story of our new Pavlion here



    (2015) We’re delighted to announce that the SSA's Grant Applications to Sport England and the FA have just been approved which is fantastic news and work will start on the new pavilion later this summer (2015). However, and as they say in the best movies "it isn’t over till the fat lady sings” and although we now have sufficient funds to build the new pavilion in line with the plans submitted, finances as we expected, are very tight and we will be pushing ahead as hard as ever with our fundraising activities to ensure that we can equip the building in the way we would like to see it done.

    We really appreciate all the support we have received so far and although we know we keep asking for help with one final push, we can fit the building out to a really high standard. This will ensure that we have something that the whole village can be extremely proud of and that sports people, their families and supporters of all ages, gender and abilities will look forward to using.

    We extend our thanks to all our Grant providers and the Parish Council who have seen the undoubted benefits of this Project and awarded us so generously, including the corporate and private sponsors who have and continue to support our Events. The biggest thanks of all must go to all the people of Smarden who have supported this from the very beginning.

    More news will follow as the Project now progresses at a pace.


Spring 2015, the season to raise money…….


With the money raised is at last sufficient for the work on the new pavilion to commence. Now would be a good time to take your photos of the old pavilion before the bulldozers move in in August. 

"The Official Opening Kick"

John Lowings Opens the new Kicking Wall and stores building

Despite the cold and damp weather there was a good turnout to witness the official opening of the first stage of the new pavilion development, the "Kicking Wall." The wall was official opened in the traditional manner with the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon by the leader of Smarden Parish Council, Mr John Lowings.

The kicking wall has in fact been competed for a number of weeks and has during that time proved extremely popular not just as a football training aid, but as a valuable recreational diversion for the village youngsters. For those who do not know what a kicking wall is, let me explain. It’s a large brick wall, and you kick or hit balls against it.

This I might add has nothing to do with anything that some of our wealthier readers may have played using a wall on the hallowed field of Eaton. This is for the simple game of “Wall-ey” and it’s proved a huge success already.

 Mulled Wine Anyone?

The kicking wall is in fact part of the new pavilion stores building, and marks the first exciting stage of the complete redevelopment of the sports facilities for the village which will see the building of the new state of the art sports pavilion. The wall and stores were built at a cost of £24,000 which came from village fundraising, and grants from Awards For All, Kent County Council, Smarden Parish Council and Fields In Trust.

An artists impression of the new pavilion

The History Behind Pavilion The Project.

This as a project has been underway for a very long time in Smarden. In 2008 Planning Permission was granted under ref: 08/00120/AS for a replacement sports Pavilion and Stores but on a huge scale, primarily because the design was driven by the potential main funding body - The National Lottery. The approved Building was always seen by the Community as being over large but it was considered that it was the only realistic route to securing the Funds necessary to replace the Pavilion which was and still is in a poor state of repair. Unfortunately following the Grant of Planning Permission the funding opportunity from the National Lottery was terminated when Great Britain was awarded the Olympics 2012.

As a result the Project stagnated and all involved became very disenchanted because it was obvious that there was no realistic prospect of raising the substantial Funds required to construct such a huge building from anywhere else and also great concern was raised about the ongoing maintenance of such a large Building and the implication of having to substantially raise subs to run it.


The Re-designed Proposal.

In June 2011 I was asked by members of The Smarden Sports association to review the whole Project and see if there was a way forward within a cost that was likely to be achievable in a realistic time frame.

Firstly we identified through several meetings what the primary requirements were for the two main clubs using the Facility and they are: -


  1. Two changing rooms with space for 14 people in each together with individual showers, 4 in each changing room.
  2. An officials changing room for 3 people and a single shower.
  3. A bigger Club room with modern Kitchen facilities.
  4. Better toilet facilities.

Next I looked at the possibility of renovating and extending the existing Pavilion to create the Facilities which the Club requires. Following a survey of the building it quickly became evident that this would be very difficult to achieve because the Building line would have to have been bought forward onto the Cricket Square and this was seen to be unacceptable because the cricket boundary is already considered to be too short. There is lots of room behind the existing Pavilion line and this area is unused at present and it will not affect the Football Pitches by building on this Land.

Following consultations by members another more serious problem became evident in that it would be virtually impossible to extend the existing building and meet the requirements of the two main potential Funding bodies – The Football Association and Sport England. Both of which have strict criteria which have to be met before they will even consider an application. Consequently working on the existing structure is not considered to be viable not least because Smarden Sports Association is in the process of registering as a Charity, when this is in place all future Gifts to the Charity will be able to qualify for Gift Aid and the construction of a brand New Pavilion will be zero rated for VAT which will make an enormous difference to the viability of the Project mainly because any work to the existing building including extensions will not qualify for this concession.

So work then began on the design of a totally New Pavilion to encompass as many of the requirements of the Funding Bodies as possible whilst keeping the building in scale with Smarden and as affordable as possible.

  • I refer you to the Plans MITPAV1, 2, 3 and 6.

I have been careful to design a new building which is very much in the character of Smarden and its conservation area, the roof has a 45 degree pitch with mellow reclaimed clay tiles, the elevations are predominantly mellow brick plinth with dark stained weatherboard cladding but the elevation to the Football Pitches has been designed with mellow face brickwork to give the Football Club its own separate identity. The elevation to the Cricket Pitch is a traditional Oak frame facade with a score board in the gable end. I have incorporated shutters on the main windows and propose lockable gates on the elevated Cricket Veranda which will have a CCTV system installed to record anybody illegally entering the locked areas. The only roller shutters will be over the main club room doors which are very much out of sight – under cover, so the building will present as a pleasing structure even when not in use.

The New Pavilion will sit on the site of the existing building with a similar front building line; overall it is only 3.8m wider than the existing building so its profile from The Street will not be much changed. All the additional area is being created by making the building deeper into the unused area behind.

The proposed building is the absolute minimum size to encompass the Club’s requirements whilst standing a good chance of receiving Funding. I have also designed a clear span roof and staircase access to provide additional space as and when required or indeed if the Football Association insists on more secure cupboard space to store one team’s kit whilst another team is using the respective Changing room.


New Storage Building and Kicking Wall.

Through consultation it has also been established that we have a need in the Village to provide the Children with a large wall which they can kick footballs against. The ideal place to construct this is as part of 2 new stores which are also desperately needed for the Football and Cricket Clubs.

  • I refer you to Plans MITPAV 4, 5 and 6.

I have designed a new building to provide 2 no. end on end storage buildings for Football and Cricket machinery and equipment together with a 10 m by 3.2m plain mellow brick wall facing the Football Pitches on the site of the two existing rundown Garage stores.

The Kicking Wall will also provide a great simple facility for the Youth Club to enjoy as well.


Parking and access.

This proposal is for the replacement of the existing Pavilion. Unfortunately we are unable to offer any form of off street car parking and the access will remain unchanged. It is not envisaged that this new modest building will materially alter the Parking situation at present which means all people arriving by car, park on the long frontage to The Minnis which rarely presents any problem at all.



A great deal of time has been put in by all concerned prior to this Application in drafting several initial proposals to try and encompass as much of each Club’s requirements as possible. We have now achieved this and it is felt by all involved that this design will give us our best chance ever of securing the much needed large scale funding required to bring this project to reality.


Architect and Project Leader.

Gary Mitchell




  1. It has been decided to split the project into two Phases. Phase 1 is to be the construction of the New Storage Building and Kicking Wall and Phase 2 is to be the construction of the Replacement Pavilion.
  2. Following the approval of a Grant from ‘Awards for All’ for £10,000 towards Phase 1 it has been decided to proceed with this in the summer 2013.
  3. Detailed construction drawings for Phase 1 have been prepared and sent out to tender by 3 independent local construction companies with the work awarded to the most competitive price.
  4. The below ground element of Phase 1 is to be carried out by Gilmit Construction (G.A. Mitchell) because of the number of different elements involved and because part of the works is preparation for Phase 2.
  5. The above ground element of the construction of Phase 1 has been awarded to Lindsell and Hallam Ltd a business from Frittenden who employ amongst others a Smarden resident.
  6. 31st May 2013. Work begins on Phase 1 with the sale and dismantling of the old storage buildings.
  7. 6th June 2013. Temporary Containers installed behind The Youth Club.
  8. Ground works for Phase 1 to be completed by the end of June 2013 with handover of the site to Lindsell and Hallam Ltd by the 1st July.
  9. Work on Phase 1 to be complete by the end of September. 





As seen from the Minnis

  As seen from Cornes Meadow