Plans for a brand new Dinton Activity Centre were given the green light at latest planning committee (Wednesday 12 August).
The £2.4 million scheme features a new two-storey building that complements its natural surroundings and provides state-of-the-art facilities, as well as an activity hall, changing areas, teaching spaces, and a coffee shop opening on to a spectator terrace overlooking the lake.
The centre also includes several eco-friendly functions, which support the Council’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. These include, windcatchers, photovoltaic panels on the roof and air source heat pumps, which will significantly reduce the centre’s overall energy demand.
The building’s features will be designed to connect with its location in Dinton Pastures Country Park, with the exterior clad in Siberian larch that weathers over time in order to blend in with the natural surroundings.
The current Dinton Activity Centre will continue to operate as normal whilst the new centre is constructed. The new centre is due to open by Easter 2021.
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure said: “I am sure residents will share my excitement as we edge closer to the opening of our new state-of-the-art activity centre. Dinton Pastures Country Park welcomes more than 20,000 visitors a year and is much loved by the local community. The water sports and activities offered by the team are second to none, so it’s important that we invest in the centres upkeep, whilst also working towards our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.”
Alex Pullin, project architect, HLM Architects, said: “This new centre will be a modern, fit-for-purpose replacement of the current venue that places the community’s needs at the front and centre. We have worked closely with the centre’s leadership team and other key community stakeholders to provide a design that celebrates the nearby natural surroundings while creating a sense of place and having a positive impact on future users. We are excited that this important project will now proceed to the next stage.”
Michael Ruddick, Commercial Director at Reds10, added: “Our aim is to demonstrate the extent of what can be achieved using modular construction. Not only are we supporting great design, with Siberian larch cladding to blend in with the natural surroundings, we are also enabling quick delivery with minimum disruption to the local community. In addition, the building has exceptional green credentials in design, build and operation due to using off-site construction.”
Additional requirements identified during the planning process, means the new centre is set to cost £2.4m, up £600,000 from the original £1.8m capital bid. Feedback from residents and local councillors at pre-application stage, resulted in changes to the appearance of the centre, whilst further structural requirements were identified during the planning process.
In addition, further Environment Agency requirements were identified around the new pedestrian bridge which will go through a separate planning committee at a later date.
The project remains self-financing, due to the income that the outdoor education and recreation activities generate.