In spring 2016, Forest Heath District Council, as the local planning authority, consulted local people on a 'Development Brief' to guide any planning application for the Hub. This was adopted as planning policy guidance later in 2016 and, since that time, Concertus Design and Property Consultants have been employed as the design team by the Hub partners.
The partners have taken on board the results of the 2016 consultation in their brief to Concertus. For example, there is no longer a proposal for 15-20 units of complementary housing within the Hub site and a buffer has been created between the new development and adjacent houses by keeping a large amount of the existing school playing fields.
A planning application for the Hub is likely to be submitted later in 2017, which will involve formal consultation and an assessment of the highways issues on and off-site by the Highways Authority (which was the main issue raised in the 2016 consultation). However, ahead of that process, the partners tested some of the initial design work for the Hub informally with local residents and stakeholders.
The pre-application consultation focused on the indicative site layout and external treatments of the proposed Hub building - internal details for the building are still being developed. Also, it is important to note that the draft plans were a 'snapshot' of what is an evolving design, as at early January 2017 - they will now change as a result of this consultation and as partners refine their own operational requirements further.
See the draft designs:
View background information on the Hub project to support these plans.