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Planning permission granted for a new community room at Ford Park.

Updated: Jul 8

A few weeks ago, we received news that our planning application had been approved and we could proceed to the next stage with our plans to build a brand-new community room at Ford Park.

The Williams Room upstairs at the Coach House is always in high demand and used by a wide range of groups throughout the week and for workshops, events and private functions at the weekend.

With so many groups and small businesses seeking to hire affordable space locally we needed to find a solution that would benefit the community and also support the upkeep of the park.

In August 2022 we met with Steve and James from Digital Woodoo and started to plan not just a new community room, but a room the community could get involved in and help to build.

Last year was a busy year with architect and Town Council site visits as we put together a business study and funding applications to proceed to the next stage.

In October we were thrilled to receive a grant from The Community Infrastructure Levy which enabled us to work closely with the Architect to draw up designs for the new building and commission site surveys to support our planning application.

The new community room will be a WikiHouse construction made up of digitally fabricated blocks that can be assembled onsite with the help of the community.

Digital Woodoo source responsibly grown wood which captures carbon from the atmosphere and stores it, meaning the new community room will be carbon negative. 

This is a key factor of the build as we continue to protect the park and the environment and as the build requires no foundations, just ground screws/anchors it will not disturb tree roots.

The community room will be sited at the very far end of the carpark and will be fully accessible, with a large multi-use space, kitchen and toilets which will also be available for use when we have events on the field.

As we begin to finalise the finer details and costings of the build, our focus is turning to grant applications and fundraising. Although the final total will be a significant amount, it is far more cost effective than a traditional build and aesthetically fitting for a community park.

We are keen to hear your thoughts on this project and would love to know what you would like to see the community room used for; what new groups could utilise this space and how you feel it would benefit the community and the park.

Please get involved by following the link and completing the survey. Information will be treated in strictest confidence and used only for the purpose of planning for the new community room.


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