The cost of rebuilding Canvey Paddocks Community Centre looks likely to soar, whilst CPBC’s Housing scheme budgeting also appears wide of the mark, according to figures within the agenda paperwork for next week’s Castle Point Cabinet meeting!
This meeting, the first following the Paddocks Consultation reveals:
“At the Cabinet meeting on 16th October 2018 it was resolved to demolish the existing facility and replace it with a new, modern facility”
The Consultation revealed, “In total 613 questionnaires were submitted. Of the 613 responses 589 were from Castle Point residents and 540 of them lived on Canvey Island.”
“In terms of what people would like to see in the new facility, there was strong support for a licensed bar and café. The majority of people favoured the provision of a large hall capable of accommodating circa 500 people seated but there was also strong support for a range of smaller hall sizes”
“maintenance of the new facility was a key concern as was retention of the splash park and free car parking. Many respondents stated that they did not want any houses/flats to be built on the site and many commented that they would prefer the existing facility to be refurbished”
“Specialist advice is sought in order to better understand potential future demand for larger scale entertainment events;
” The Strategic Director (Resources) in consultation with the Cabinet member for Finance, Policy and Resources is given delegated authority to drawn down from reserves the funding required to cover the cost of the specialist advisors;”
” A design brief is produced for a modern, multi-functional, flexible community facility capable of accommodating both small groups, i.e. less than 20 people through to functions catering for up to 500 seated guests;”
” An architect is appointed to develop conceptual building designs having regard to the design brief;”
Later in the Cabinet agenda paper it was revealed how the estimated costs for a NEW PADDOCKS had either Spiralled or been surpressed ahead of the original Cabinet decision to demolish the current Community Centre;
“The estimated cost of building a new facility was originally estimated at £4.3m but this will need to be revised once the final building size and design has been agreed. An estimated additional £1.4m will be required for the works to the car park.”
Was this misleading information, so as to justify bringing forward the whole development project?
By that I mean the inclusion of Housing / Flatted development on the Paddocks site and the suggestion that the NHS facility based in the old Town Council building, of local historic and architectural significance, be sold or used for development! Cllr Smith was reported as saying “that any future sale of the building is not directly linked to work at the Paddocks site. But he did admit the building may sold to make the most of council assets and money could subsequently be used at the Paddocks site.” Echo 12th Feb 2018.
If you remember the original estimates for the Project, (as councillors appear sensitive to have called the scheme a Plan), were £4,300,000 to rebuild, or £4,100,000 to regenerate. Now it appears that not only will a Rebuild cost £5,700,000, but will also require the added costs of hiring a team of specialist consultants to inform us of the ”potential future demand for larger scale entertainment events”, whilst “An architect is appointed to develop conceptual building designs having regard to the design brief”!
Surely a visit to view similar new and successful Community Hall projects, by an officer, a cabinet member and representatives of Canvey Town Council would be a more economical approach. From there, designs and experiences of how the new community halls had fared could be made available and utilised for our purposes, rather than starting from scratch!
Before CPBC part with our Cash they may wish to view what can be achieved in the right hands and for far less, elsewhere. See Here
Not only has the Paddocks rebuild costs been projected wide of the mark but the Cabinet Agenda reveals other apparent miscalculations. This time over the supply of temporary accommodation and ongoing affordable housing in Castle Point
At Hatley Gardens the chosen Tender “has a total expected cost of £806k, including a prudent contingency allowance of £70k. This is £102k higher than the original budgeted cost of £704k approved by Council in February 2019”
Whilst at Church Close “The budgeted cost for the scheme agreed at Cabinet in February 2019 was £594k over two years’, the revised anticipated price is in the region of £1.3m including an increased contingency. This would equate to a build cost of £325k per property.”
“An evaluation of the local housing market showed significant variations between the mainland and Canvey Island, with property prices on Canvey Island for semidetached properties being 20% lower than on the main land at £260k compared to £322k. In the price range £200k to £275k there were three 2 bedroom and one 3 bedroom properties for sale on the mainland and 113 on Canvey Island ranging up to 4 bedrooms. This raises concerns over the value for money of this development on Canvey Island.”
Hopefully some realistic and transparent financial decisions will be made, however, it appears for these Housing considerations, debate will be held with the Press and Public excluded!
Apologies if this does not read as quite such a “Good News” Echo story!