Town Planning & Design Guidance, Climate Change, Traffic & Footpaths, Funding & Public Consultation
The construction industry has to take many considerations into account when planning new developments. A major aspect of project planning these days is whether or not the build is likely to negatively affect the immediate surroundings. This is particularly relevant where green belt land is present. This type of conservation area is notoriously difficult to gain approval to carry out building work on, with good reason as it is subject to preservation orders.
Concerns were raised about proposed plans to replace the Grange Paddocks complex in Bishop’s Stortford, with a new leisure centre. A survey carried out by East Herts District Council (EHDC), revealed worries about the impact of the activity on the conservation area. It was also felt that rather than contracting out the whole design build, operate and maintain [DBOM] operation, it should come under EHDC.
The decision related to Hartham Leisure Centre in addition to Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre. Some councillors feared that this could escalate costs which may exceed the planned £30 million budget, although this was put to rest by the council officer in charge of the proceedings
An advantage of the EHDC taking the reins means that they will be able to more easily control and monitor the various elements of the design and building work. By having the design process ‘in house’, in this way there is also less risk to the leisure industry. Planning applications for the new leisure centre at Grange Paddocks as well as the Hartham Common refurbishment are now expected for November 2018, instead of the original date which was July 2018, although it is hope that actual construction work will commence in January 2020.
Essex and London are hives of building activity in the last little while, as commercial and private projects get underway with positive results for all including construction specialists and plant hire companies.