2023 Bockhanger Square Consultation

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A PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE FUTURE OF BOCKHANGER SQUARE

Bockhanger Square at the junction of Bybrook Road and Belmont Road is the former site of a Community Centre. Kennington Community Council are consulting everyone in Kennington on whether to establish a new community facility on the site, what it should consist of and how to fund any development.

You might be one of the 650 people who responded to the 2020 joint consultation on the needs of residents in the area. The results of this were presented online and on ABC’s Youtube channel. And you may have seen the residents’ group’s questionnaire on what is important in any new development.

On the basis of these consultations and a separate questionnaire to the operators of community facilities in the Kennington area, Ashford and Kennington Councils have outlined the four options for the site described below.

Now we need to have the views of all Kennington residents on the best way forward. Please complete this questionnaire to record your views.

You can find out more by meeting representatives from the Community and Borough Councils at public events which will be arranged in the next few weeks. Details will be published on our noticeboards and on social media.

Option 1: Baseline option, with minimal change

  • Further minor improvements made to the site by April 2024, within existing budgets, and regular maintenance.
  • A yardstick to judge costs and benefits of other options.
  • No development: no community facility and no housing.

Option 2: Stand-alone modular construction facility, without housing

  • High quality modular construction on the site of the old Centre. Function room and a community café (incorporating kitchen, toilets etc).
  • 200m2 with a terrace and possibly small under-5s play area.
  • No affordable housing included.
  • Funded mainly through Community Council Reserves, a loan of £275,000 (repaid over 10 years by an additional £10 per year per household in Kennington) and £100,000 from ABC’s regeneration budget.
  • Target opening date for Community Hub April 2024.

Option 3: Large stand-alone facility, large function hall

  • A high ceilinged hall of some 200m2in a facility of 500-600m2; no affordable housing included.
  • Probably phased construction, with meeting rooms being added on at a later date.
  • Budgets for costs of £1.0-£1.5M would rely on a successful, much larger Youth Investment Fund grant of at least £1.25M.
  • With no grant, development would be deferred for at least 5 years; opening date April 2029 or later and would depend on long-term planning of the two councils.
  • In the meantime, minor improvements envisaged in Option 1 would be implemented.

Option 4: Housing-led scheme incorporating a stand-alone facility of 200m2

  • Size of around 200m2 would include a community café and fitted kitchen. Adjacent outside spaces could include a terrace for café seating in the summer and perhaps some small enclosed under 5s play equipment.
  • Planned, funded and executed by the Borough Council, in consultation with the Community Council and residents. Ashford Borough Council would fund the capital through its regeneration budget and housing loans.
  • Full site would be developed, with no future expansion. Opening would depend on completion of construction across the site.
  • Community Council would guarantee the annual rent for the facility but not take out a capital loan.
  • Some existing outdoor play/sports facilities might be relocated to nearby green spaces; a small area of car park would be available. 

Click here to complete the questionnaire online

or click here to download a printable form which you can return by post

Timeline

  • Opened
    20 Jan 2023 at 00:00
  • Closes
    27 Feb 2023 at 23:59

Supporting Documents

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