Poole News May 2015

1 Major improvements to shopping centre car park

A town centre car park in Poole is set for a major overhaul, with repair work soon to be underway to the Dolphin Shopping Centre's roof-top car park.

The works, starting on 1 June 2015, will involve extensive improvements to the customer car park, including complete re-surfacing works, replacement of the waterproofing system and the associated movement joints. A new LED lighting system will be installed to reduce energy consumption and provide more even lighting levels across the car park. The stairwells and parapets will also be repaired and refurbished.

To enable the improvements to be carried out the car park will be closed to all users for approximately four months. Access to Shoppers 2 car park will remain open for use as usual.

The works, costing £1.4 million, will be undertaken by Raymond Brown Construction Ltd and it is anticipated that they will be completed by early October 2015. 

John Rice, Engineering Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “Our regular inspections of the town centre car parks have identified that we now need to undertake major repairs to Shoppers 1 roof-top car park. The planned works will not only improve the environment for car park users but also reduce the risk of leaks into the shopping centre below. We are aiming to re-open the car park in time for the busy shopping period leading up to Christmas.” 

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “We have already completed significant investment to the Shoppers 2 roof-top car park which has created a better experience for shoppers and an improved first impression for visitors arriving in our town centre. With further investment in the shopping centre anticipated we are keen to improve our car parks and bring them up to the standards expected by our customers.” 

Commenting on the repair work, centre manager at the Dolphin Shopping Centre, John Grinnell added: “We are pleased to see the necessary repairs commence to the Shoppers One roof-top car park. Unfortunately, to undertake the work it is necessary to temporarily close this particular car park. However, the Dolphin Shopping Centre is very much open for business and in the meantime the adjacent Shoppers Two car park, along with the Dolphin’s multi-storey and others surrounding the centre will remain open for customers as alternatives.”

Kevin Valentine, divisional director of contractor, Raymond Brown commented: “We seek to deliver a project where local relationships are enhanced and where the quality of life for the retailers and shoppers is not compromised. The project team will endeavour to minimise all disruption in the vicinity of the project and will engage regularly with stakeholders throughout construction. Anticipated working hours will be between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday, with activities such as concrete breaking taking place outside of the retail hours. 

"The project is registered with Considerate Constructors who will externally monitor our performance.” 

2 New swimming pool opens at Montacute School

The new swimming pool in Montacute School in Poole is proving a hit with users.

The new facility is part of the newly rebuilt Montacute School, and offers fresh changing rooms, showers and toilets, an 8m x 12m swimming pool and a hot pool.  All facilities are fully accessible to users with additional needs, with changing beds, hoists and tracks to all areas.

Cllr Mike White, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Capital Projects, Borough of Poole, said: “The Montacute School rebuild provided a great opportunity for the Council to deliver on other priorities, including investing in this fantastic new swimming pool. The facilities are a real asset to the school and the wider local community.” 

The new pool has been named ‘Monty’s Pool’ by pupils at the school, and replaces Lodge Hill pool, which had reached the end of its operational life. Lodge Hill pool was originally fundraised for by the parents and friends of both Lodge Hill Training Centre and Montacute School, and had latterly been refurbished and managed by Borough of Poole. It will now be demolished as part of the school building works.

Jill Owen, Headteacher at Montacute School, said, “We are looking forward to our new role managing this pool for the benefit of our pupils and the many local swimming groups that use it.”

Donna Graham of SOS Swim School, who had been teaching children to swim at Lodge Hill pool for 28 years, said: “Our classes at Lodge Hill have always been popular so we were really pleased to be able to move our existing lessons into the new pool. First impressions of the new facilities are really good and I’ve had great feedback from parents and children. The changing rooms are clean and bright and the water is really warm.”

3 Construction of a new Hamworthy rail crossing starts soon

A long awaited rail crossing, offering a direct and safe route to Hamworthy Park, will soon be built in Lower Hamworthy.

Borough of Poole has been striving to provide a rail crossing since the construction of the Harbour Reach development in 2007. The council has now entered into an agreement with DB Schenker, a freight train operator who has been granted a 125 year lease of the Hamworthy Branch Line, and has appointed Avon Construction to build the crossing. 

Construction of the new rail crossing, costing approximately £780,000, will start in the summer. It is anticipated that the crossing will be open to the public before Christmas. 

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “We are delighted that after many years of frustration we will shortly begin work to build this much anticipated crossing. It will provide a safe crossing for those residents who enjoy the facilities at Hamworthy Park and who have been very patient over the years waiting for this scheme to be delivered. 

Cllr Mike White, Ward Member for Hamworthy East, Borough of Poole, said: “As a local Councillor I have promoted this project since the Harbour Reach development was first conceived some ten years ago. It is to the enormous credit of this council that funding has been provided ahead of developer contributions from the regeneration sites."

Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services, Borough of Poole, said: “We have always wanted to provide a safe crossing for Hamworthy residents but unfortunately the project has suffered from a number of delays which were outside of our control, including re-tendering the project to a wider range of contractors and the council investing a further £250,000 to cover the shortfall in funding to construct the crossing. These issues are now all behind us so we can all look forward to a new crossing by the end of the year.” 

4 UK’s first solar powered rapid electric vehicle charger installed in Poole

Borough of Poole has installed the first solar powered rapid charger for electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK. 

The rapid charger, along with three standard charging points, has been installed in the Poole Civic Centre public surface car park and draws its power from the recently installed 135kWp solar installation on the roof of the adjacent multi-storey car park. 

Rapid chargers significantly enhance the convenience of electric vehicles by recharging them in less than 40 minutes, compared to the 8-12 hours of a standard charger, allowing EV users to double their range by recharging en-route and businesses to keep their electric vehicles on the road all day. 

Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services, Borough of Poole, said: "This innovative scheme enables vehicles to be charged from sustainable solar electricity. During daylight hours, when the solar panels are providing sufficient electricity, vehicles get their electricity from the solar panels, only using energy from the national grid when the panels cannot meet demand."

The charging points were installed as part of a project, managed by Borough of Poole’s Transportation Services, to provide 6 rapid charger points in Poole, funded by the Department of Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The solar panels have been installed as part of Borough of Poole’s Carbon Management Programme’s work to meet Poole’s Covenant of Mayor’s targets and were funded by prudential borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board. The two projects were integrated and managed by Poole Housing Partnership (PHP). 

Andrew Flockhart, Interim Chief Executive, Borough of Poole, said: “This is a great example of our staff working together to link two significant council projects, delivering innovation, savings and additional benefits for the local community. We are building a business case for further solar panel projects and will look for more opportunities to integrate electric vehicle chargers with solar panels in the future.” 

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transport, Borough of Poole, said: "Poole is leading the way in using solar power for the benefit of local people. We hope other organisations will follow our lead and install solar panels on their buildings to generate carbon free electricity."