Wickford community centre & library

Work began on the new Wickford Community Centre at the Nevendon Recreation Ground in Nevendon Road in April.

The community centre currently on Market Road is to be relocated to a new centre when the project is expected to be completed this Autumn.

In March, Councillor Tony Hedley, chairman of the Regeneration Committee, met with members of the community association and One Step Ahead pre-school at the Nevendon Recreation Ground: the project also includes the demolition of the One Step Ahead pre-school which will be relocated into the new community centre.

Cllr Hedley said: "This is a positive step forward for an exciting project that will bring great community benefit.

"The existing centre is no longer fit for purpose and we are committed to working in partnership with the community association to ensure we give them a facility that will enable a greater range of activities.

"This will also unlock much needed redevelopment on the site of the old centre and form part of the wider regeneration of Wickford."

The relocation of the community centre, whose plans were approved in November 2018 by Basildon Council, enables London and Cambridge Properties (LCP) to bring forward a development in Wickford Town Centre.

As part of that development, the Wickford library is proposed to be moved to a disused retail unit within the Willowdale Shopping Centre subject to planning permission.

LCP’s plans for the redevelopment of Wickford library include:

1. An extension of the existing vacant Unit 8 of the Willows Centre (formerly HSBC bank) and Change of Use of Unit 8 from Class A2 use (financial services) to Class D1 use (library).

2. Proposed demolition of the existing Wickford Library and Community Centre buildings and redevelopment of the site for the construction of a five-storey block of 65 flats built.

Designed in line with Essex County Council specifications, the new library will deliver a new and enhanced service, within a flexible and fit-for-purpose space. And it is proposed to be located within Unit 8 of the Willows Centre Shopping Centre, (formerly HSBC), which would be extended to accommodate the new library use.

The building will be completed, furnished and fully stocked before the demolition of the existing Wickford Library building is to take place.

The residential block is c-shaped and proposed to be up to five storeys in height with the fifth floor set back to reduce the impact of the building. There will be 30 one bedroom, 22 two bedroom and eight three- bedroom flats.

A landscaping scheme along the frontage of Market Road and Market Avenue, is also included in the scheme, while proposals also include private amenity space for the new residents within a roof terrace area.

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