MEETING THE NEEDS OF A RAPIDLY EXPANDING COMMUNITY
It was identified 7 years ago that the facilities in and around the Lee on the Solent area would not cope with the new developments going on and about to start within the area. This has now become more apparent since the closure of the Belle Vue Hotel facilities in early 2003. It was also identified that the local Infant School, Junior School, Doctors Surgery and shops would not cope with the influx of families into the area. The Infant School completed its extension in 2005, the Pre-School Sunbeams relocated to a purpose built room.
The Junior School finished a 3 classroom extension in September 2002 this was phase 1. Phase 2 was completed February 2004. Phase 3, a new classroom, extension to the library, a new reception area and new offices was completed by end of 2004.The Lee on the Solent Doctors surgeries were extended in 2003. Local shops had to have extensive refurbishment programs to accommodate the rising trade. The new shops are in Twyford Drive, and opened in May 2006.
In the Autumn of 2002 a member and residents usage survey was distributed to every household in Lee on the Solent, in order to establish if there was a requirement for additional community services in the area.
The results of this survey and additional enquiries identified the following activities / services that were considered desirable.
More further education classes
Pensioners lunch club
Provisions of gymnasium facilities
Senior citizen fitness club
Introduction of a youth club
Regular police surgery
Base for meals on wheels
Additional meeting rooms and areas for local clubs and organisations, out of school meeting forum for children to discuss problems.
The surveys that were returned were a good cross section of age groups, and an equal split between male and female.
If the Association is to provide any of the above then it will be necessary to extend the existing building.
RAISING THE PROFILE AND INSPIRING PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE
The Association prepares and prints its own brochure, which contains all the activities and entertainment going on in the centre. The Association also advertises occasionally on council notice boards and in local shop windows. The associations web site was launched in 2007.
A hectare of land was given to the community for community use by RMC as part of the Cherque Farm development. This plot of land is directly opposite the Community Association building and is partly used to provide a new car park to serve the Centre. Now the car park has been completed it should relieve pressure on the existing parking area and free up space for the proposed new extension.
The remainder of the area will be fenced and a community garden will be constructed. This garden is due to be complete by May 2009. There are many groups which already use the Association facilities that would benefit from a large landscaped area.
EXTENSION TO EXISTING BUILDING
Family and games room
Since the new Cherque Farm development started in 2001 the Community Association has experienced an influx of family memberships. At present the Family and Games Room covers 89 square metres, this area cannot cater for the continuing growth of family membership. The vision is to extend this room further into the garden area. The suggested area for this extension is a further 46 square metres. This will allow for further 8 to 10 tables for family use.
When this extension takes place it is possible to build a serving hatch for the sale of hot meals into the Family and Games area, this was suggested in the Resident and Member usage survey. At this present time we offer a pool and darts facility, this will be moved in to the extended area.
New meeting rooms.
The Association has been experiencing problems with not being able to accommodate new groups wishing to use the Associations facilities.
To this end it is considered essential to build more meeting rooms to accommodate other groups. The intention is to build two new meeting rooms next to the existing building; this will take up part of the existing car park.
It is proposed that the two rooms will be 52 square metres and 116 square metres. The largest of the meeting rooms will be fitted with a room divider so the room can be split into two separate rooms and will also have a storage area to one end. The car park to the rear of the two meeting rooms will be laid out to allow for 6 disabled parking spaces, and to the front an area will be set aside to allow for electric buggy parking and cycle racks. The remaining parking area will be laid to provide 28 car spaces.
The area separating the existing building and the proposed new building will be joined by a covered corridor; and will house disabled toilet facilities, cleaning storeroom and a further store cupboard. The corridor has direct access to the electric buggy and disabled parking areas.
An integral part of the design of the proposed extension will be the construction of a suitably equipped kitchen utilising one of the existing committee rooms. The above proposals will allow the Association to ensure that new groups will have modern facilities, in which to meet the overstretched facilities already available in Lee on the Solent.
LONG TERM VISION
Over the next ten to fifteen years it is envisaged that the Association membership, and group usage will grow even further increasing the need for the Association to extend even further. The Association will already have a substantial parking area opposite the existing building, allowing for further expansion in the parking area directly behind the existing building.