30/04/2024 - Permalink

People asked for views on future of Whitchurch Civic Centre

Related topics: Assets and estates / Partner organisations
Whitchurch civic centre

Whitchurch Civic Centre

People living in and around Whitchurch are being asked for their views about the future of Whitchurch Civic Centre in a consultation that runs from Tuesday 30 April to Tuesday 11 June 2024.

The centre is currently closed – except for the sports/market hall – after specialist engineers found that RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) exists across the majority of the Civic Centre complex, and that it has major structural issues.

A working group has been set up to consider six possible options for the building and has now launched a survey to ask people which options they like, and which they don’t.

The survey also asks people about their usage of the Civic Centre in the past and at present, and which facilities and services they think should be available at the site in the future.

The results of the survey will be used to help determine which of the six options should be further considered, including having detailed business cases prepared.

The working group – made up of local Shropshire Councillors, Whitchurch Town Councillors, and officers from both councils – will then use the consultation findings and the business cases to make a recommendation to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet.

The survey can be completed on the Shropshire Council website, from where hard copies can also be downloaded and printed. Hard copies are also available from the sports/market hall – where completed copies can also be left in a ‘drop box’ – at the following times: Monday (9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm) and Friday (7.30am to 12.30pm; and 1.30pm to 4.30pm). Outside of these hours the surveys and drop box will be located outside the hall during normal working hours.

Paul Wynn, Shropshire Councillor for Prees, and chairman of the working group said:

“We know the importance of the Civic Centre to Whitchurch and to people who live in and around the town. Now we really want to hear people’s views about the future of the building, and about how they use – or have used – the building.

“We ask as many people as possible to complete the survey as what they tell us really will help us to understand what the local community thinks, and what people want. All comments will be carefully considered and will help inform our recommendation to Cabinet.”

Councillor Andy Hall, Mayor of Whitchurch and a member of the working group, said:

 “It is vital that Whitchurch residents engage with this public consultation – it will ensure that we can accurately capture the needs of our community – not just now, but into the future. The results of this initial consultation will inform the progress of the Civic Centre Working Group and ultimately guide proposals which will be put forward to Shropshire Council for a final decision.

“In the meantime, Whitchurch Town Council is pleased to support our community through the continued operation of the Sports/Market Hall and, of course, our new temporary home, due to open shortly in Station Road.”

The options put forward for consideration are:

  • Do nothing and close the building permanently.
  • RAAC to remain in place and mitigated through internal structural framework, repairs to spalled concrete and full replacement of roof membranes.
  • Replacement of structural roof and associated essential items.
  • Demolition and clearing of site.
  • Demolition and rebuild as existing facilities provision.
  • Demolition and redevelopment of the site.

The estimated costs of these options ranges from £60,000 to £7.6m.

Earlier this month Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, wrote to Jacob Young MP, Levelling Up Minister, to seek Government funding for Whitchurch Civic Centre.