'Considerate' construction of new Bretch Hill community centre starts

Peter Meadows from Cherwell District Council and Steve Keynes from Edgar Taylor as work begins on The Hill. Photo: Cherwell District Council
Peter Meadows from Cherwell District Council and Steve Keynes from Edgar Taylor as work begins on The Hill. Photo: Cherwell District Council

Construction of the replacement building for The Hill Youth and Community Centre in Banbury got underway this morning (Monday, November 11), with promises for workers to be considerate.

Cherwell District Council’s contractors, Edgar Taylor, are committed to following a code of practice that emphasises respect for the community and environmental protection as the Bretch Hill site has been registered for the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Councillors are shown the plans for The Hill by the developers. (L-R) Cllr Barry Richards, Steve Keynes from Edgar Taylor, Clive Williams from Williams Architects, Cllr Lynn Pratt and Andy Couves from Sport England. Photo: Cherwell District Council

Councillors are shown the plans for The Hill by the developers. (L-R) Cllr Barry Richards, Steve Keynes from Edgar Taylor, Clive Williams from Williams Architects, Cllr Lynn Pratt and Andy Couves from Sport England. Photo: Cherwell District Council

Cllr Lynn Pratt, lead member for economy, regeneration and property, said: “We’re delighted that work is underway on the new Hill Youth and Community Centre.

"Everyone is very excited about it and in the coming weeks and months we will be announcing details of how local people can get involved with planning the activities that will be taking place there.

“We thank people living nearby in advance for their patience and understanding while work is ongoing, much as we are really grateful for the support they showed when the old building was being demolished."

Edgar Taylor expect the work to be completed by autumn next year, but in the meantime, the council is planning consultations and arts projects to support local people who want to get involved in developing the centre and its programme.

Last week, Edgar Taylor gave a presentation covering their experience building for leisure and educational uses and to discuss the building programme in detail with councillors, funding partners and council management at Bodicote House

Council project managers will be meeting with the contractors on a regular basis to offer support and oversight, with the first meeting taking place this week.

The council also wrote to residents living near the site last week to remind them that work was about to begin and to request support allowing ease of entry and exit to the site for the builders.

Cllr Pratt added: “Having watched an impressive presentation from Edgar Taylor last week, I’m really confident that they are not only going to build a fantastic centre, but that they are committed to minimising disruption to the community the building will serve.”

Residents have been waiting for The Hill to be replaced since 2013, when a hole was found in the roof of the building on Dover Avenue.

Planning permission for its replacement was approved for the second time in June, as the original plans were deemed too costly, and the old building was demolished in September.

Leader of the opposition at the council, Sean Woodcock, said: "This is great news for users who have had to wait five years for this.

"I look forward to the centre being completed on time and on budget."