What "green" elements are there involved in the construction?
The plans have taken into consideration the "BREEAM" requirements and have been developed with these in mind together with the council's aims within the corporate plan and climate strategy.
there will be solar panels and grey water system
the log burner will be replaced with air source heating to lower emissions
the extension will have a living roof.
We have not yet gone out to tender, but will ensure that contractors have good green credentials, using local suppliers and materials where possible, although there will have to be a financial balance.
What consultation has occurred?
The concept plans were available in October 2022 for people to view either in person at HCP, in PFH or on the website.
Advertisements were placed on Facebook and on the website, as well as notifications posted at HCP.
The overall feedback was positive, with the car park being recognised as essential, and the increased cafe size being welcomed.
The comments have been collected and included in the plans, significantly relating to the toilet layout, and safety of the yard access/entry.
How can I comment now?
When will we know if planning permission has been granted?
The outcome of all applications will be published in autumn 2023. A press release will be posted if permission is granted, or if there is a time delay there will be an update on the website.
When will work start?
Once permission has been granted (likely autumn 2023) the procurement process to appoint a contractor will occur. This is likely to take around 3 months.
It is hoped the contractor will start in Spring 2024, and be completed by the end of the year.
Will the country park remain open throughout the construction?
It is the intention to remain open, however, there will be footpath diversions at times. These will be signposted on site and updated accordingly.
There will be times when the main driveway is not accessible, and this will be notified in advance where practical. It is hoped the existing car park will remain open until the new one is open, the exiting car park will then be upgraded.
Will the cafe remain open during the construction?
As long as there is electricity and running water, the cafe will remain open. Please follow any signs to allow safe access.
There will be an alternative outlet in the form of a food trailer which may be used if the cafe is not accessible. This will be located on the field and be visible for visitors to see.
The new car park proposes to go where the play equipment is currently located. What will happen to this?
This location was identified as an area of compacted soil with little value for wildlife, so the least detriment to biodiversity. The red slide will stay in situ as this is part of the history of the park, being the first piece of equipment installed and for many years the only play feature.
It is hoped the aerial slide can be removed and relocated within the park. The other items have been well loved and well used, however, in their current state are not fit for purpose. 4 new play features were installed in 2022, encouraging play in alternative areas through a wider range of equipment.
What will be the impact on wildlife?
We recognise the disruption to both humans and wildlife whilst this work is undertaken, however, several surveys have occurred in the development of the plans so that the work causes minimum disruption.
Two ecological surveys have made recommendations regarding the preservation of newts and bats for example. Detailed tree surveys have identified where root damage is likely to occur, and digging in those areas will be done by hand rather than machinery. However, the location for work is such that a minimum number of trees will be felled
What are the plans to improve the biodiversity of the site as a result of this construction?
Every year, around 300 trees are planted on site to provide an age range of trees. This will continue, but in addition, there will be a 7m planted area between the proposed car park and the main field.
This will be a mixture of trees, hedgerow plants and wildflowers to attract a range of insects, birds and mammals. We recognise this will take time to establish, but in the meantime will continue to manage the separate areas within the park for the benefit of both wildlife and visitors, which gives the wildlife alternative havens.