Plans agreed for new office HQ and car parking in Chippenham
Good Energy employs 300 people in Chippenham, and this development will mean they can continue to grow and invest in the townPauline Church, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for economic development
Plans to create a new HQ for one of Chippenham's major employers to secure hundreds of jobs in the town and create additional parking has been agreed.
Good Energy jointly submitted an application with Wiltshire Council and Henry Boot Developments for a new HQ on the Sadlers Mead car park site next to the Olympiad.
The plan includes a surface and multi-storey public car park for Wiltshire Council to provide 255 spaces.
The electrification of the Great Western main line coupled with the growth of Chippenham is forecast to increase the passengers using the town's railway station.
The application follows consultation on a masterplan for redevelopment around Chippenham railway station to increase car parking, and provide opportunities for housing, offices and shops. It will also improve the appearance of the entrance of the railway station and connections to the town.
The first phase included improvements to the railway station building which are now complete.
The Sadlers Mead application is Phase 2 of the masterplan. Public consultation on the proposals took place in July this year. The application is supported by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and grant funding has been approved for the development through the Local Growth Fund.
The proposed HQ would include cycle parking, solar panels and battery storage, with 40 parking spaces for the office building at ground level.
The public car park would be built and managed by Wiltshire Council to provide additional car, cycle and motorcycle parking for Chippenham. Future provision will be available for electric car charging points.
Now the planning approval has been agreed, subject toonditions and Section 106 agreements, the office construction can begin with the car park construction due to happen later this year. A strategy was submitted with the planning application to show how the existing Sadlers Mead car parking would be managed during construction.
Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for economic development, said: "I am delighted this ambitious scheme which will boost Chippenham's potential as the place to do business, has been given the green light.
"Good Energy employs 300 people in Chippenham, and this development will mean they can continue to grow and invest in the town.
"The application will be delivered through a combination of public and private sector funding. We are pleased that the available grant funding has also allowed the council to tackle car parking for the town centre and the station."
Paddy Bradley Director of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) said:
"Chippenham is strategically important in the growth of the thriving economy of Swindon and Wiltshire, located in two of the three growth zones we have identified for investment through our Strategic Economic Plan. This development represents a total investment of £34 million, of which £16 million is from our Local Growth Fund showing our commitment supporting businesses such as Good Energy to grow, invest and innovate in our area."
Fran Woodward, Good Energy's Director of People & Culture, said: "Today's positive decision means we can commit to Chippenham for the long-term. The planned investment will allow us to grow as a company, while creating a modern and energy efficient building. Having supported the growth of renewable energy in the UK for years, we are excited to develop a building which truly reflects our values."
The proposals will bring significant investment to the town with a landmark employment building which would allow Good Energy to expand and provide more jobs
The new car park will also provide extra public car parking for visitors to the town centre, station, the Olympiad and Monkton Park.
Approval was given subject to a list of conditions and a Section 106 agreement to contribute £125,000 towards installing traffic signals on New Road/Station Hill junction.
An index linked financial contribution of £70,000 to upgrade the existing Monkton Park path to link to a shared cycle/pedestrian path was also agreed.