Town’s new facilities take a step forward

Friday, 30 November, 2018

Some of Alton’s biggest clubs and community groups gathered at the Assembly Rooms to discuss proposals for new community facilities in the town.

Around 50 organisations met with East Hampshire District Council and Alton Town Council on Wednesday 28 November to have their say on what would work best for them.

The views of the clubs and organisations will be fed into proposals centring on the redevelopment of the former Coors Brewery site which, according to an approved development brief, could be home to a new community building. At the meeting, CALA Homes shared with stakeholders some very early concept sketches of one of the options to gauge reactions.

Once finalised the viable options will be put to the people with a consultation sent to every household in the town and the surrounding area.

Cllr Guy Shepherd, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “The clubs and organisations attending the meeting are the same people who will be using the new facilities most of all, so we are working hard to get their detailed thoughts on what is being proposed.

“Following the public consultation, we have had a very large number of groups come forward who would like to be supported by this project and we are working on proposals with Alton Town Council to invest in the Assembly Rooms to create a home for arts and performance as well as additional floor space in Alton for new clubs and a growing population.

"The consultations and workshops with the clubs have generated a lot of fantastic ideas which we are assembling into three or four viable proposals.

“As soon as we are able we will be sending details of the options to every household in Alton and the surrounding area, so every resident will have the chance to have their say on this important issue.”

The two councils are also working closely with developer CALA Homes to find the best way to bring more and improved community facilities to the town.

The Environment Agency has nearly completed the flood modelling on the site which will identify areas that cannot be developed and allow CALA Homes to develop its masterplan.

Mayor of Alton, Cllr Derek Gardner, said: “This latest stakeholder workshop has stimulated detailed debate about how each of the options being considered could work in practice, with the evidence coming from the very people that would be using and indeed running such facilities, which is critical.

“Everyone has been really enthusiastic at this opportunity to provide residents and local groups both now and for the generations to come with an exemplar solution, enabling CALA Homes and Molson Coors to provide a lasting legacy for the community.”