No doubt scripts have been carefully prepared and are being rehearsed for this Tuesdays CPBC Cabinet meeting, so that the fate of Canvey’s, Paddocks Community centre, may be presented as another “Good News” story!
7.00 pm start time for those intending to attend.
The cabinet agenda item presents the case in such a way that clearly, the compiler of the “business case”, has been requested to balance the spend on the renovation and regeneration cost to meet, as near as possible, the cost of a very generous new build project! The list of new goodies can be seen below, whether they can be justified as being entirely necessary is doubtful!
As we indicated in the previous post, other Community Centres are available in other areas at far more reasonable costs than the £4,300,000 Castle Point council suggest.
However the £4,300,000 cost may just be inflated a tad by a developer hoping to develop Flats and Houses on the site and thereby avoiding a level of Section 106 agreements.* (see below)
The difference between renovation and a new build is just, £200,000!
It is good to see that Canvey’s own cllr mumford has the honour of presenting this agenda item to the cabinet. One wonders whether he has been handed a poisoned chalice, as usually “good news” stories are left to cllr smith to deliver!
* “Planning obligations, also known as Section 106 agreements (based on that section of The 1990 Town & Country Planning Act) are private agreements made between local authorities and developers and can be attached to a planning permission to make acceptable development which would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms.”
Informative extracts from the Agenda;
“The existing Community Hall, whilst being a well loved landmark on the Island, is not well used and is a significant financial burden which is currently underwritten by the general council tax payers of the Borough.
The Paddocks is the largest community venue in the Borough able to accommodate events for up to 500 seated attendees, but is rarely used to full capacity.
The net operational cost of the facility for 2017/18, excluding apportioned corporate costs, was in the region of £89k. This is budgeted to increase to £110k for the current financial year with an element of this increase being driven by additional security costs. Net operational costs are anticipated to average £165k pa for the period 2020/21 to 2029/301.
In addition to addressing repair and maintenance requirements identified through specialist surveys, this option includes the following remodelling works:
1. Various options to improve entrance to and egress from facility
2. New reception and office adjacent to potential new Main Entrance
3. Sliding/ folding division to Main Hall
4. Lift access to First Floor proposed from Main Hall/Third Hall Lobby
5. Accessible WC proposed adjacent to Main Hall and Lift
6. Second Hall accessed from Main Entrance and North-East Lobby
7. New bar facilities proposed to Second Hall – all halls to have bar facilities
8. Existing Second Hall converted to Third Hall and rentable Office/ Meeting space
9. Third Hall and Office/ Meeting spaces to be accessed from additional entrance and reception, for improved security
10. New stair at West End to proposed First Floor (subject to first floor structural assessment)
11. Stage Facilities upgraded in existing location
12. Main Bar Facilities upgraded in existing location
13. Rentable Meeting space accessed from main corridor
The final result would to all intents and purposes “feel” like a new facility.
Demolish existing facility and replace with a new, modern facility specifically designed to meet current and future requirements.
A new purpose built facility, capable of catering for and presenting a wide range of events and activities to maximise the venue’s commercial potential. A detailed design brief will be drawn up after the completion of a comprehensive consultation process and the appointment of a specialist scheme architect.
The precise configuration would require careful design to ensure that peak time demand could be accommodated.
A new build facility would present opportunities to influence through design, ongoing operational costs as well as environmental considerations, energy efficiency, maintenance and improved security in order that the new build is fit for use as a modern venue for many years to come”
All to be read with a straight face, and I am assured this is not a fairy tale!