FAQs – Development of Grounds Maintenance Facility

FAQs – Development of Grounds Maintenance Facility

FAQs – Development of Grounds Maintenance Facility 1900 1200 Johanna Edwards

Haydon Wick Parish Council has announced exciting plans to support the delivery of their parks and open spaces service with the redevelopment of their existing facility, to enable continued high standards of outdoor spaces maintenance.

The Parish Council’s in-house Parks & Open Spaces (POS) service has increased significantly since 2017, when Swindon Borough Council devolved the responsibility to the Parish Council. As the scale of operation has grown, so has the necessity to improve the temporary service arrangement. The proposed regenerated facility, pending the outcome of planning permission, is to be built at Goodearl Leisure Gardens, home of the current temporary site, and will replace the temporary shipping containers arrangement.

The Parish Council is aware that residents may have questions, and have compiled a list of questions and answers below. The page is regularly updated, last updated: 05/10/2021 

How much will this project cost?
The project will cost in the region of £350k

How will this impact the precept?
The Council will be applying to fund this via a Public Works Loan and the repayments will be reflected on the term applied for. Due to the sustainability of this facility and future proofing the home of the Parks & Open Spaces Team the term is likely to be 25 years. It is common for local authorities to apply for public works loans  – this in itself may have an impact on the budget but until this is reviewed in October – January the amount is unknown. Also further research is being presented on timescales, terms and interest rates.

Who is managing this?
Haydon Wick Parish Council

What are the dates, what could the impact be of project slippage?
The dates are subject to the tender process, but it is hopeful that this project will be completed by June 2022. The main impact of slippage will cost £225.00 per week which is for extended temporary welfare unit. Also delays may result in arising material costs due to economic growth, which cannot be measured. Additional contingency amounts of 3% on each item will be factored in to mitigate against any overspends.

Who will benefit from this development?
The Parks & Open Spaces team, with all round better facilities. Storage, workshop for painting and repairs, both mechanical and play equipment. Garage facility for mowers, compact sweeper. Electric charging points. Solar panels. Washdown for vehicles. Meeting room / rest room. Disabled washroom facilities.

How will this improve the existing service?
The larger space will allow the capacity to have various projects on going, comfort for the employees during breaks, additional space for play equipment repairs, winter bulb storage, timber storage, cement / aggregate storage. There will also be a kitted workshop for ease of repairs, additional storage space for tools and additional car parking spaces for the fleet of vehicles and ride on machines. The area in itself will be improved visually tidying up the current facilities.

What future running costs will this incur, and how will that impact the rate payer?
The running costs are not expected to be much more than they are now so we would not expect a noticeable up lift in costs.

What difference will this make to the service delivery, for example; grass and hedge cutting schedules?
The building alone with not impact the schedule but the Council is running a separate project to look at delivering an enhanced grounds maintenance service and will give separate updates accordingly.

Will there be any investment in equipment?
There will not be any investment in new equipment as part of this project. All our equipment is replaced as it becomes end of life or obsolete.

Have you considered any environmental initiatives when installing this building?
A great deal of consideration has been given to environmental matters. The facility will be equipped to allow a transition to electric vehicles for our whole fleet over the next few years.

The building will have solar panels fitted to generate much of the electricity the building needs and will ensure efficient use of water piping clean rain water into the allotments for use. Due to all our facilities being on one site our vehicles will travel less – with plans to reduce their carbon footprint further each year, until eventually being replaced by electric vehicles.

Has there been any impact on leisure garden plots?
Three plots were affected due to designated area for the build of the facility. Three affected plot holders were reallocated to an alternative site and the Council is hopeful that planning permission and lease variations will be agreed by Swindon Borough Council for the permission to build an additional 12 full size plots on the land adjacent to extend the facility beyond the current boundary. If permission is agreed, raised beds can be installed and the leisure garden plots will be accessible for any additional needs.

 

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