Wickford Community Centre

Essex

calfordaeaden were appointed to provide a detailed planning submission to introduce a new community centre and pre-school building together with increased car parking provision on part of the Nevendon Road Recreation Ground, Wickford, Essex.

The development site is owned by Basildon Borough Council and comprises a large parcel of land which is dominated by green open space, existing buildings on the site include a skate park, playground, pre-school and small public parking area. The site is ideally situated to be used to re-provide a new facility for the Wickford Community Association as their current building is reaching the end of its life.

There were a number of constraints associated with the development of the site, including the need to retain access for the annual fair & carnival. calfordseaden undertook consultation with the Parks & Countryside team to ensure appropriate access would be maintained to the park for maintenance and the annual fair and that the proposed development contributes to a ‘Whole Park’ approach.

Our design team has engaged in pre-application advice from the planning department during the course of developing our proposals. Informal meetings have been undertaken with a senior planning officer, where sketches were presented to identify the principle of redeveloping the site. Further meetings were held in 2017 & 2018 after which parts of the design were further amended to address the planning officers concerns.

The result of many different ideas and proposals, developed, adapted and improved over time by the design team, with guidance from the senior planning officer has culminated in the submitted proposal.

The submitted design introduces a building of varied heights, incorporated into a scheme that provides additional public parking spaces together with semi-public landscaped spaces, this favourable mix will create a balanced development. In order to procure the development within the clients budget a modular framed building system has been suggested to reduce construction timescales thereby providing cost savings. By using a modular system the client benefits from the cost efficiency of off-site construction whilst retaining the quality from a product manufactured under strict factory conditions.

The scheme combines a visually attractive, contemporary design that is robust. A well-considered landscaping scheme will promote a sense of place and create a development that will compliment its surroundings.