Plans for a major new office development and multi-storey car park at Sadlers Mead, Chippenham have received planning approval from Wiltshire Council.
The AHR-designed 31,748 ft2 office development will provide a new headquarters for Chippenham-based renewable power firm Good Energy, enabling the company to expand its business alongside growth plans for the town.
Adam Spall, regional director at AHR, said, “It was important for the new headquarters to reflect Good Energy’s nature as a clean energy firm, in order to truly feel like their own. To achieve this, our design is rooted in sustainable values. This includes physical attributes: solar panels, battery storage and on-site electric vehicle charging points, as well as more perceptive elements, such as giving each member of staff a view of both outdoor greenery and the sky. This is accomplished through the building’s design, which wraps around two large existing trees whilst maximising natural daylight.
“With the site located within the Chippenham conservation area, our design draws from the character of the surroundings, resulting in an office that feels positive and in-tune with its natural environment. It will provide an inspiring workplace internally, and externally, a great example for Chippenham’s future growth.”
The inclusion of battery storage within the design will allow Good Energy to retain energy generated on-site, as opposed to sending it back to the grid. This greatly reduces energy waste and allows the company to be more self-sufficient, utilising their own energy reserves during high demand, or periods when the photovoltaics are not producing energy.
Fran Woodward, Good Energy’s director of people & culture, said of the planning approval: “This positive decision means we can commit to Chippenham for the long-term. The planned investment will allow us to grow as a company, while creating a modern and energy efficient building. Having supported the growth of renewable energy in the UK for years, we are excited to develop a building which truly reflects our values.”
The office development has been approved alongside a new 245-space, fully SWLEP-funded multi-storey car park for Wiltshire Council, with AHR’s design also including modern, sustainable features and charging for electric vehicles. Located adjacent to the new office on the edge of Monkton Park, the design of the façade draws from woodland inspiration. Vertical, spaced timber sections provide further natural cohesion and reinforces its relationship with the new office, which also uses similar patterns of solids and voids on the brickwork exterior.
The application follows consultation on a masterplan for redevelopment around Chippenham railway station to increase car parking, and provide opportunities for housing, offices and shops. It will also improve the appearance of the entrance of the railway station and connections to the town.
The first phase included improvements to the railway station building which are now complete.
The Sadlers Mead application is Phase 2 of the masterplan. Public consultation on the proposals took place in July this year. The application is supported by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and grant funding has been approved for the development through the Local Growth Fund.
Located near Chippenham Railway Station, the development is well-positioned to allow for green travel into the area. The new HQ will allow Good Energy to continue to attract and retain talent in to Chippenham, bringing new possibilities for growth and investment to the town.
09 OCTOBER 2015
THE MANNINGS RECEIVES PLANNING