Castle Hill community building consultation

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation  and the developer of the Castle Hill Commercial Centre, Newcrest, are teaming up to bring an additional community building to Castle Hill to offer opportunities for local residents to develop a greater range of community and cultural activities and we need your help to create a great new space.

In our recent ‘Learning from Lockdown’ web survey, Castle Hill residents reiterated the need to see new amenity spaces and spaces for the community opening up to help the community come together so we are pleased to be able to give local people this great news!

Early work with local groups has shown that there is a demand for uses such as a café/bar/restaurant, good quality arts and performance space, workspace for local businesses and flexible space for community use.

Now we want to know what you think!

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we are not currently holding public, face-to-face engagement events and so we are commencing an online public engagement round from today, completing on 18 September 2020.

There are lots of ways to get involved.

You can view initial plans for the proposed new building below and you can then link to an online survey so that you can have your say.

We are also holding a live webinar via MS Teams on 8 September and we hope you will join us at 18.30 – 19.30. Our architects will present the plans to residents and you will be able to put your questions and ideas to the project team in real time. You can sign up to take part by emailing us at contactebbsfleetdc@ebbsfleetdc.org.uk Please add the title ‘Castle Hill Community Building consultation’ to your email.

If you know of a Castle Hill resident who might not be able to access this engagement exercise online, please contact us on the details below and we will send them some hard copy plans and a survey that they can return to us by freepost.

Please get in touch and tell us what you think!

Email us at contactebbsfleetdc@ebbsfleetdc.org.uk

Or call 0303 444 2586

The proposed building, with a cultural focus to act as a beacon both visually and socially, will promote a range of activities including arts, music, performance and dance, by the provision of studio and workshop spaces and an appropriate performance hall. Co-location of commercial spaces, flexible workspace – providing opportunities for co-working – and a local food offer combine to ensure a vibrant and relevant community and arts building with long term flexibility supported by the building design and layout.

 

The spaces within the building are arranged to create a vibrant mix of uses throughout the day and into the evening, with activity within the spaces made visible externally by strategically placed windows across all floors ensuring the building and it’s uses remain a visual beacon within the community.

Ground floor 

At ground floor, two entrances into the foyer space open onto a café space supported with a variety of meeting rooms to stimulate use and activity throughout the working day. A largely flexible commercial space provides active frontage to three sides of the Community Building on the prominent junction of Castle Hill Drive and Cherry Orchard. Active frontage is also proposed to the café space with the potential to open out onto the public space to the north of the building. A formal stair and passenger lift pass from the ground floor entrances up to first floor studio spaces, leading ultimately to the second floor Foyer, Performance space and external terrace.

First floor 

At first floor, a suite of studio spaces, and meetings rooms are arranged around a central reception and gallery space, these include a large shared studio space that increases to 1½  storeys high to facilitate a wide range of potential uses. Some studios will have sinks and drainage connections to cater for more arts-based work while all studios will have good acoustic separation to allow disparate uses to occupy adjoining spaces.

Second floor 

At second floor, the large community hall is designed to provide as broad a arrange of uses as possible, from studio cinema, performance and dance through to convention and catered function room. A large format window, opening onto the village centre frames strategic views out to north and also provides a view into the hall of activities throughout the day and evening. The hall is supported with provision of a bar and foyer space, with WC provision to cater for large numbers of people congregating before and after performance events.

Gallery floor 

An external terrace occupies the stepped roof above the large arts studio on the south-west end of the community building to benefit from the evening sunshine and takes advantage of the far-reaching views to Castle Hill Lakes.

Material palette

These are some examples of materials which could be used for the new community building.

You can give us your view via the online survey by following the link below.