Script for video blog on Northstowe Phase 1 community facilities online engagement session

Hello, I am Liz Davy, I’m a Development Officer in the Sustainable Communities Team at South Cambs District Council.  Some of you may already know me from the drop-in information sessions that we held at the end of last year for the Community Governance Review we are carrying out.

As a separate piece of work, we are also looking at the potential management arrangements for the Phase 1 community facilities such as the sports pitches, bowling green, pavilion and community centre.

Before  the COVID 19 pandemic we had planned to hold a workshop to share with you the outline specifications for the buildings and gather your views on the future uses and management arrangements for both the buildings and the pitches on the Western Park.  Sadly that’s not now possible but as we all adapt to new ways of working we hope that through the information held on this webpage, these videos and some questionnaires we’ve created that you are still able to contribute to this next phase in the development of Northstowe.

So, a bit of background, some of you will be aware that South Cambs District Council will be responsible for constructing the sports pavilion and community centre in Phase 1 rather than L&Q Estates (formally Gallagher Estates) as master developer.

I know that as a community you are keen to have input into these buildings at an early stage, how they are used in the future and the management arrangements that will be put in place and we agree that as the future users of the facilities it is important that we gather your views.

I must stress, we are not starting here with a blank canvas.  The Section 106 agreement, which is a legal agreement between L&Q Estates and the Council contains outline specifications for both buildings.  These specifications are available for you to view here on this webpage.

The outline specifications need to be developed in into detailed specs, however, they are in fact already quite detailed, setting out the location, the individual space requirements, the size for the different areas and the materials to be used.

The community building itself can be no greater than 950 sqm and the sports pavilion 870 sqm.

As the Phase 1 community building will be in the local centre, alongside the shops, it is important that the building fits well with the surrounding facilities and is not designed in isolation.  For this reason, L&Q Estates will be developing the detailed specification within an agreed built budget, even though the construction itself will be undertaken by the Council.

The Council and L&Q estates are bound by the Section 106 agreement so any deviation would need to be formally agreed

Please do have a look at the specifications.  If you have any questions these can be raised using the online Q & A facility on this webpage. We will monitor it regularly and get back to you where you have requested a response, although we might not have all the answers at this time.

This exercise relates to Phase 1 only and not the Civic Hub that will come forward as part of Phase 2 being developed by Homes England.  The Civic Hub is a much larger building that will contain the core services such as the Health Centre and Library in addition to community space.

We also need to consider the future management arrangements for when the facilities are complete. 

Across South Cambridgeshire, sports centres and community centres operate under several different models.  Some are managed by parish council’s, some community trusts and charities and others by the local village college.

We have commissioned Strategic Leisure Limited, a business management consultancy who specialise in the planning, development and management of sport and leisure facilities to advise on the different operating models to find the one that is best suited for the phase 1 facilities.

Rachel and Kay from Strategic Leisure are keen to gather your views on how you see the facilities being used in the years to come as this will naturally influence how they will operate and are managed.

Strategic Leisure have produced two questionnaires to gather your feedback on the buildings and the sports pitches at the Western Park.  You will find these together with a video they have recorded on this webpage. Please listen and then complete the questionnaires.

While it would have been great to hold the workshop we had planned, I hope that this webpage provides you with an opportunity to get involved and be part of this next important phase in the development of Northstowe. Thank you for taking the time to listen.

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