‘More cost effective’ design for new Brooklands Park cafe explored

A ‘more cost effective design’ for a new cafe in Brooklands Park is being explored.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 2:09 pm

This time last year Worthing Borough Council secured planning permission to build a new eatery, toilets and play areas part of their ambition to turn the space into a science adventure park.

This is part of its £3million project to transform the park.

The council has already made significant progress to address environmental issues with the lake, according to a report due to be discussed by senior councillors next week.

An artist's impression of how the new Brooklands park will look SUS-210615-164508001

Following a review, officers identified that while the ‘aspirational’ design of the cafe was laudable it ‘drew attention from the overall park and open space project’.

Income from leasing the cafe would not cover the cost of construction over a 40-year period and would also exceed the agreed project budget.

The report said: “Through this review it was identified that an overall more meaningful renewal of the park could be achieved by refocusing this workstream on delivering the play area and landscaping elements, by working more closely with community groups to develop aspects of the masterplan and by finding a design solution for the café that was more cost effective.”

A new café design has been identified, which officers consider would be ‘a suitable and attractive addition to the park, sitting well within the wider landscape’.

They added: “Adopting this modular approach will also be significantly more cost effective, ensuring that the project can be delivered within the approved budget, and will be significantly more environmentally friendly and cost effective to maintain.”

If tendering is successful and contractor could be on site by October and works completed in an estimated 12 months.

Another major element of improvements at Brooklands is a proposed family and youth focused leisure opportunity in the south-west corner of the site.

A marketing campaign earlier this year generated significant interest, with 33 registering an initial interest. Four formal bids were received by the May deadline.

These were whittled down to two and a further report recommending a preferred bidder is expected in early September.

On the subject of improved maintenance and planting, there has been a key change of emphasis due to a ‘recognition that park and landscape projects are meant to be shaped, interpreted, used, consumed and revised over long periods of time’.

Officers explained: “The objective of the masterplan is to ensure that it continues to appeal to a diverse range of publics long after its conception.

“This understanding has led to the consensus that citizen participation in design decision making ought to be integral to the Brooklands Project to ensure that it builds constituencies and future stewards of the space.”

Meanwhile the council has put together a programme of activities at the park including temporary art installations, bicycle events, activity days and ranger led events.

To date £420,680 has been spent on the initial phases of the project, leaving £2,755,230 for the next stages.