THE Mayor of Vale Royal officially got work under way on a village hall this week.
The custom-built hall in the grounds of Barnton Football Club on Townfield Lane will replace the village's 108-year-old Brunner Memorial Hall.
Trustees of the hall have until November 8 to leave their existing site on Lydyett Lane, which they say is too dilapidated to carry out expensive repairs, and they are hoping most of the work will have been completed by then.
Approval for the development was originally given last July, but plans went back to the drawing board while trustees tried to save £25,000 by changing the design of the roof.
Richard Ellison, of Vale Royal Borough Council's planning department, said a decision on the latest £420,000 proposals was 'imminent', but as the changes are only minor, initial work has begun.
Cash for the new building has been raised through the sale of the old memorial hall land, which will be used for a medical centre, a Coop supermarket and a small-scale housing development.
Mayor Norman Wright put the first spade in the ground on Monday morning and presented trustees with a cheque for a Vale Royal Borough Council grant for £2,000, which will help towards the cost of disabled facilities.
Fiona Sayle, of the memorial hall marketing group, said: 'The chairman and vice-chairman of the parish council and three borough councillors - Roy Garton, Venca Frame and John Ledward - were present to witness this great event.'
Trustees say the benefits of the new hall far outweigh any potential problems raised by residents last year.
John Turnbull, chairman of the project, said: 'The existing hall is not compliant with the new disability laws and that is one of the key factors behind the move.
'We have addressed all the concerns of residents - local people were concerned by the
possibility of noise at night and we have addressed that by ensuring there will be sound insulation.There will be staff on hand to disperse people and landscaping, too.'
The old memorial hall will continue to be used until it is knocked down. Mr Turnbull added: 'We will be out by November 8, but if the new hall is not finished in time, we will make arrangements with other facilities.
'One or two people have expressed sadness at the thought of knocking the memorial hall down, but the majority of people who we have talked to fully support the building of these new facilities.'