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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Plans for £1.5m revamp of Penrith town hall revealed

Plans for a £1.5 million expansion of Penrith’s town hall have been unveiled.

Penrith town hall graphic
Artist’s impression of how the town hall revamp would look

Eden council says the proposed three-storey extension would allow its services and officers to be located in one town centre site.

The plans include 945 cubic metres of general open plan office accommodation for staff, with a glazed link to the existing town hall building.

The work is estimated to cost around £1.5m and take a year to complete.

But the authority insists it will only go ahead if the Mansion House, a council-owned building in the town, is successfully sold or leased.

Gordon Nicolson, Eden Council leader, said: “I should make it clear that this is a contingency application and no decision has been made to proceed with the extension.

“However, having full planning permission in place would enable the council to proceed if an acceptable offer for the sale or lease of the Mansion House were to be received.

“We would then seek approval from full council (all elected members) for the proposed development.

“If we were able to proceed with the extension there would be a significant reduction in our running costs, we would achieve improvements in communications between council departments and in general efficiency by having all our staff on a single site.

“The public would also be able to access all our services at a single location.

“Our investment would also improve confidence in the north end of Penrith as a place to visit and shop. Overall, this would be good news for Penrith.”

The proposals feature a contemporary appearance with an environmental design and promises to have minimal impact on the town’s conservation area.

The building would maximise natural daylighting and ventilation with large areas of glazing on the south-west facing elevation and fewer, smaller windows facing north-east.

Solar panels will form the whole of the south west facing roof to generate electricity for the building supplemented by further embedded glass solar panels providing shading to the large areas of glazing.

And rainwater will be collected from the roofs for the use in the building’s toilets, and the use of biomass boilers to heat the building is being investigated.

The new building would be fully accessible throughout for both staff and visitors, with a lift improving access to areas of the existing town hall through the glazed link.

There is also scope for further improvements to the reception areas of the town hall with new meeting and interview rooms to improve access to services for the public.

The scheme is due to go before the council’s planning committee next year.

To view or comment visit www.eden.gov.uk, call into the town hall or Mansion House offices in Penrith or call 01768 817817.

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