The much anticipated new Civic Centre and Library for Whitnash moved a stage closer this week with a unanimous agreement by the Town Council to sign a contract with Deeley Construction, which will make way for work on the new building to commence soon.
The project, which is being led by Whitnash Town Council in partnership with Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council, will see the creation of a vibrant new hub to replace the town’s existing community hall bringing a number of local services together. The new building will include a multi-use sports hall, library, community café, meeting room and offices for the Town Council.
Whitnash’s new £2million Civic Centre is being funded by grants from Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Sport England and a public works loan taken by the Town Council. An additional £20k for external elements such as landscaping, parking, electric vehicle charging points and bike racks was raised through a successful local Crowdfunding campaign.
District and Town Councillor for Whitnash, Tony Heath commented;
“A Civic Centre and Library on Acre Close has been a priority for our local community since it was identified by public consultation in our Neighbourhood Plan. I am therefore very pleased that thanks to the support from Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council and the efforts of local businesses and residents, we will soon have this vital multi-functional facility for the benefit of everyone in our town.”
The Leader of Warwick District Council, Cllr Andrew Day commented;
“A community hub is an essential part of every town, especially one as vibrant as Whitnash. This welcome new facility not only brings benefits to local residents, but provides jobs at a critical time in our recovery plan for Warwick District. Working in partnership with Whitnash Town Council we’re delighted to play our part in bringing this important and ambitious scheme to life.”
Steve Jones, Estimating Director at Deeley Construction, commented:
“As a trusted local contractor, we have worked closely with Whitnash Town Council and their partners to bring this scheme forward. For more than 80 years we delivered developments and engaged with community groups in Warwick District and will continue to do so to ensure the new civic centre and library respond to the needs of local people. We have been working on this scheme throughout lockdown and are looking forward to getting started on site in the near future.”
Councillor Kam Kaur, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer & Transformation, commented;
“We have worked closely with our Town and District Council partners to fund and develop this project, so it is wonderful to hear that the new Civic Centre, including a new Library for Whitnash, is now one step closer.
“We’re delighted that our library service will be a key part of what will become a vibrant hub of activity for the community, bringing together a number of local services in a central location in Whitnash.”
We have had a few planning consents emerging from the system in the last few weeks – all of which have been months in the making – covering a wide range of projects and geographies, and all are schemes that will help our pipeline of work as we navigate through these strange times.
Many planning committees are convening through video calls at the moment and we are beginning to see subtle changes, within the confines of established policy, which we believe are a result of the current crisis.
An example is our proposed scheme in Ledbury which will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
We are currently going through consultation and as part of that process we appeared at a Town Council meeting on Zoom. We felt there was far greater consideration than there would have been pre Covid-19 around the provision of local facilities alongside housing, and how developments and decisions could help limit travel times and help foster the community.
That has always been high up on the agenda of any Town or Parish Council, but we have noticed across different areas that there is a stronger emphasis than ever on providing for local people to ensure that they can get what they want and need within their own communities.
I think the current crisis has made authorities realise that you can’t just make one place busier and people can travel to, for example, the nearest retail development. The way we shop and way we live into the future is going to be considerably different.
We have found that people have taken on board that life has changed and that is not going to be for weeks, it is not going to be for months, we could be talking for the next few years.
It has been recognised that just because we have something now, which has worked up until this point, it is not necessarily going to be suitable or sustainable going into the future.
I think this will make Town and Parish Councils not only more relevant but also more powerful. There is a view – rightly or wrongly – that some councils do not want development whatever it is, or wherever it is but that approach will not work in the future.
Local councils know their communities better than anyone else and that level of knowledge is vital. We had a very good example last year in our dealings with Pillerton Priors Parish Council, where the members were very specific about the sort and variety of housing they felt would suit the community, and we adjusted our plans for The Meadows accordingly.
Obviously, there are agreed village plans which take precedence, but I think there is an acceptance that there is not enough affordable housing and it is not of the age or quality that is needed.
The current crisis has emphasised the importance of local family networks which can lend support when it is needed. It has as highlighted how having family close is a really great benefit for all and for a variety of reasons, and that living in the area you grew up in and having connections in your community can be very useful for everyone as it reduces the pressure on local service provision.
On a practical level, the session in Ledbury went very well and worked effectively. We have also had planning committees on Zoom, which are then broadcast through YouTube, and again that has worked without any issues.
There are, in fact, benefits in that I think it stops people talking too much and therefore makes the meetings more efficient!
Everyone is talking about the “new normal” and certainly in planning terms, we are seeing it develop with impacts in our industry, which, I believe, will only grow and hopefully bring increased benefits to the local communities in which we live and work.
A new Costa Coffee drive-thru restaurant is being created on a site in Wolverhampton – and will be central to perking up a well-loved community hub.
Midlands based developer Deeley Properties, in partnership with Ziran Land, has won planning consent to create the new drive-thru on the Birmingham New Road and Spring Road.
The development will be built on land owned by the 44 Club, which will be investing the sale proceeds back into the club and its facilities including its bar and function room, as well as snooker, crown green bowls, darts and a shooting range.
The club was founded in 1944, by some prominent Wolverhampton business leaders and now has around 240 members. The permission will also see money donated to local outdoor green spaces.
The development will create five full time and 12 part time jobs, and work is expected to begin on the new unit in September with opening in Spring 2021.
Andrew Brazier, of Deeley Properties, said: “This new unit will be a welcome addition to the local area and is situated on one of the main routes between Wolverhampton and Birmingham and will prove very popular both with people using the road network, but also locals.
“The land is not used at present but we have been able to realise considerable value for the 44 Club to help it improve what is a well-loved facility used by generations of people from the local community.
“We work across the retail sector throughout the UK, creating new units for a range of end-users. To have brought this forward from concept, through planning and delivery, for the benefit of all involved, is really pleasing.
Pictured: Andrew Brazier
Deeley Group has agreed the lease of a unit in Leamington to an engineering firm which is planning to become a world leader in the development and manufacture of PPE.
Tecman Advanced Material Engineers have leased the unit at Ramsey Road, Leamington, formerly the home of Bellagio Stone.
It will house its production facility dedicated to the manufacture of face and eye protection.
The new premises include 10,000 sq ft of storage, a new automation system to streamline production, and state-of-the-art machinery to boost manufacturing capacity.
The new production line will enable to firm to produce over a million protective visors per week, and support the company’s long-term vision of becoming a global industry leader.
The firm says the site has already created 30 new jobs at the company and will create a further 10 jobs in the future.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “Tecman has been doing incredible work during the Covid-19 pandemic to manufacture PPE and we’re pleased this new facility will allow the firm to further expand operation.
“The unit is ideally positioned on the outskirts of Leamington near a collection of businesses that form a thriving business community.
“The business will be providing vital new jobs to local people, which is even more important now as the area recovers from the impact of Covid-19.
“The deal was completed quickly and we look forward to working in partnership with Tecman more in the future.”
Kevin Porter, technical director at Tecman, added: “Developing and manufacturing an effective product to support frontline workers has already led to the creation of 30 new jobs at Tecman.
“Our expansion into new premises creates a need to expand our team further, and we’re delighted to be able to offer jobs within the West Midlands during a time when many are unable to work.”
A Midlands-based construction company has started work on a multi-million retail unit near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
Deeley Construction, which is headquartered in Coventry, has begun work on the 22,000 sq ft unit at Wolstanton Retail Park, which will be home to nationally renowned home furnishing retailer Dunelm Mill.
The unit, which is expected to be completed later this year It is being built between the existing Matalan and Marks & Spencer stores at the retail park, and when Dunelm Mill opens its doors it is expected to create up to 50 jobs for local people.
The unit will be purpose-built for Dunelm Mill and feature a café, alongside the typical homeware and home furnishing goods sold by the retaile which has 169 stores across the UK.
Work is being carried out on site during the Covid-19 pandemic, with workers adhering to strict social distancing guidelines.
Deeley Construction’s work will also include improvement of the foundations of the Matalan unit, whilst still maintaining a fire safety route from Marks & Spencer.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “Our team are now set-up and working on site to deliver this retail project, which is part of the continued development of Wolstanton Retail Park.
“The retail park is still busy, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and our team will be operating social distancing measures, while providing as little disruption as possible the general public.
“Deeley Construction has great experience with working in live retail environments and delivering purpose-built units.
“The new Dunelm Mill store will provide a boost to the local economy and provide new jobs for people in the area and we’re delighted to be working on this project.”
Ledbury residents are being encouraged to have their say on a new community-led development scheme before it is submitted for planning permission.
The scheme, known as Leadon Vale, is being developed by Midlands-based Deeley Group and the family-owned company is engaging with the local community through an online public consultation.
The new development will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
It is proposed to be built adjacent to the Old Wharf Industrial Estate, where Leadon Way meets Dymock Road.
There will be just under 200 car parking spaces at Leadon Vale, with the development offering a range of amenities and employment opportunities for existing and new residents in the south of Ledbury.
The energy-efficient buildings are designed to respond to the surrounding area with fitting design, including a green roof on the 23,412 sq ft Lidl store.
A public consultation was planned to take place in May however due to Covid-19 this will not be possible, so the event will be taking place online.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “The Deeley Group always make a priority of engaging with communities wherever we work to ensure we create a sustainable footprint on the local area.
“Leadon Vale is in a fantastic location to provide support to local people and is within walking and cycling distance of those who live on the south side of the town.
“We would like to hear feedback from residents on the proposed development and ensure it responds to the needs of the community before submitting for planning permission.”
Woodlands Nursery will be operating the day nursery and it will be the site of their third pre-school, with other sites at Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.
The nursery will offer at least 23 full and part-time jobs to qualified and apprenticeship staff, while also providing in-house training opportunities for local people who are interested in a career in early years.
Oliver Marshall, Director of Woodlands Nursery, added: “We are delighted to be able to take forward these plans for a new purpose-built nursery school at Leadon Vale.
“We have been searching for a site near Ledbury for a number of years, having been told by local people and businesses that they desperately need an early years facility like this in the town.
“Leadon Vale is a really well thought out proposal, and as a local business we are delighted to be involved. We believe it will be a credit to the area.”
To find out more about Leadon Vale and to provide feedback on the proposal visit www.deeley.co.uk/properties/our-developments/leadon-vale/