Consultation: The building

This page forms part of the public consultation which runs until December 14, 2018. We want your ideas so that we can together create a wonderful garden for the Clay Farm community.

Currently (October 2018) the garden is mostly a 'blank canvas'. Its area is outlined in red below. The garden is split by Hobson Avenue running north-south. It will also be split by a cycleway (to be constructed) running east-west following the line of the gas main (solid purple).

In the area between the dashed purple lines ('the easement') planting is limited according to this guidance document.


The building has outline planning permission as part of the overall site plan and is expected to include:

  • storage area
  • office
  • meeting room
  • toilet
  • mains water
  • power
  • four parking spaces

Details of external and internal design and features are still to be determined. One restriction already identified is that cooking facilities will not be included, although there can be a tea point.

A recently finished example of a building is that on the allotment site at the nearby Nine Wells development, although this facility serves a much smaller site.

Here are some questions about the building:

  • What functions should it support?
  • How would you like to use the building? For example: social events for the garden, classes/workshops in garden related topics, selling local produce, seed/plant swaps…what else?
  • Where should it be sited? NB no part of the building can be within the easement.
  • What size should it be?
  • What finishes should the building have? For example, rustic, or like a shed… or what?

What other questions occur to you about the building, and what answers can you offer?

Please comment below, or email us, or both.

Optionally, you can Register on this site. This is useful if you want to make multiple comments here or on other pages. After registering, you can log in and then you do not have to enter name/email each time you comment.

Here is a link to all the consultation pages.

16 thoughts on “Consultation: The building”

  1. This building could become an Abode/Cala community centre. For instance, there is no space for meetings of leaseholders in the neighbourhood (the closest one is the Village Hall). It could also be a place for informal and social meetings/events.

  2. It would be nice if the roof could combine both a green roof and solar panels. This might involve sloping and flatter areas. A rustic appearance would be best aesthetically, but might require more maintenance than brick?
    The building should have very small storage area.
    The majority of space should be for garden related social gatherings events and workshops. A tea point and washing up facilities are essential.
    As gardeners will be working in or using the garden outside drop-in hours:
    There should be a permanently (at a minimum 12/24) accessible toilet – in addition to indoor facilities – with entrance from outside to avoid the need for key holders and codes. This should also be wheelchair accessible. This poses the question of by whom/how it will be kept clean.

  3. I agree with the suggestions made by Carol Wright above on design, I would like the cladding to be more natural material than plain brick. An outdoor area that is paved, covered and big enough for social events, BBQ, maybe even a fire pit, would be great.

    We must have some form of indoor gardening area for growing on seedlings etc. as we will have no other way of providing plants for the garden, so a glass house attached to replace the temporary poly tunnel will be essential.

    One issue is how the building will be managed, in terms of keys, cleaning, washing up when people don’t do their own, clearing out the fridge etc. This is not really a question for the consultation for purposes of planning permission, but it is one for everyone with an interest in the garden to be considering.

  4. The ongoing cost of maintenance and management must be carefully considered and this could negate such things as 24 hour access to toilets. Toilet facilities need to be accessible when the building is in use and being supervised by a responsible person.
    External brickwork could be “decorated” by students, Long Rd or Community College and the decoration renewed every two years or so. Plain exterior could be liable to unwanted “decoration”.
    Use for meetings etc should, I feel, be limited to allotment/community garden interests. There are adequate venues with tables, chairs, kitchen etc nearby.
    Solar panels or small wind generator could be considered to reduce ongoing costs and presumably water will be stored for watering plants rather than using mains water.

  5. Solar panels – I spoke to someone today who suggested adjustable compact solar panels that can be re-angled to receive the maximum amount of sunlight depending on the time of year. They do not need to be on a roof but could be sited on the building without requiring a steep roof and would not dictate the geographical orientation of the building.

    1. I am dubious unless you mean a small panel for a specific purpose.
      If panels not on roof:
      – the building itself would inevitably shade them;
      – they would be more vulnerable to vandalism;
      – adjusting orientation will be either a manual operation that gets forgotten or an automatic system that costs £££ and goes wrong;
      – the area will be small
      I say design for a green roof with maximal rainwater capture, and no expensive features that are easily damaged by vandals.
      Where solar power could be appropriate in the garden would be powering isolated systems such as a pump in a water feature or a cyclist counter at the entrances.

  6. Not much to add to the above. My own preferences would be for natural and sustainable materials with a rustic look that blends in with the surrounding (and hopefully increasing) flora.

  7. The building should be placed on the community garden not on the allotments and should NOT be of a rustic appearance. To fit in with the local area, the building should be of mainly brick, the local houses are made of brick, and the flats of brick with modern wood cladding anything “rustic” would look quite out of place.

  8. zero energy building. green roof. extended external covered area attached or adjacent to / both. plenty of natural light internally. views from inside across country park and garden. glazed growing area incorporated. brick / timber facade to main as would be consistent with surroundings, but this should be explored as part of the design process. this building should also have ‘something’ to stand it apart from the surrounding architecture and suggests ‘Garden’, green roof could be the beginnings of this. green walls – this could be as simple as wirework and climbers.

  9. building shape and foot print to be explored according to location on site – moving away from ‘box’ to a form that grows from the ground.
    or takes cue from the ’round’ Iron Age buildings found on the site in the early excavations – like the blackened timber community square sculpture. this could be a brick or timber / glazed /greened interpretation of the idea.

  10. The building is a meeting place for gardeners and allotment holders and a storage place for larger shared equipment. It needs to be well built and low maintenance with solar panels on the roof and water collection points for the run off. There do need to be both inside and outside toilets but those outside should only be accessible in daylight hours or have a keypad system. Hopefully there will be some method or organising wifi for the office area. Reception in the garden is currently very poor.It would be good to have a tea point and sink inside and also a sink outside for cleaning off boots, tools etc.

  11. If no permanent polytunnel is possible, the building needs to incorporate a “Solarium” type space to propagate seeds/plants all the year round, and to enable growing during the winter months.

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