Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Plans to be submitted for new office HQ and car parking in Chippenham

An artists impression of the new Good Energy HQPlans to create a new HQ for one of Chippenham's major employers to secure hundreds of jobs in the town and create additional parking have been unveiled.

Good Energy will be jointly submitting an application with Wiltshire Council and Henry Boot Developments for a new HQ on the Sadlers Mead car park site next to the Olympiad.

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.

The plan includes a surface and multi-storey public car park for Wiltshire Council to provide 255 spaces.

The electrification of the Great Western main line coupled with the growth of Chippenham is forecast to increase the passengers using the town's railway station.

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 proposed HQ would include cycle parking, solar panels and battery storage, with 40 parking spaces for the office building at ground level.

The public car park would be built and managed by Wiltshire Council to provide additional car, cycle and motorcycle parking for Chippenham. Future provision will be available for electric car charging points.

If the planning goes ahead, office construction would start next spring and finish in the summer of 2020.

The car park construction would be likely to start in autumn 2019 and complete within 11 months. A strategy will be submitted with the planning application to show how the existing Sadlers Mead car parking would be managed during construction.

Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for economic development, said: "We are delighted to work with Good Energy, an employer of 300 people in Chippenham, to help the organisation grow and invest in the town.

"The application is submitted in partnership and if successful would be delivered through a combination of public and private sector funding.

"We are pleased that the available grant funding has also allowed the council to tackle car parking for the town centre and the station."

Paddy Bradley Director of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) said: "The SWLEP Board has approved the Outline Business Case for the Chippenham Station Hub project enabling the project to progress to this next phase including submitting the full planning application.

"Chippenham is strategically important in the growth of the thriving economy of Swindon and Wiltshire, located in two of the three growth zones we have identified for investment through our Strategic Economic Plan.

"This proposed development represents a total investment of £34 million and we are committed to supporting businesses such as Good Energy to grow, invest and innovate in our area."

A spokesperson for Good Energy said: "We have been searching for new premises in Chippenham for a number of years and we are excited that the plans are closer to reality.

"This is a unique opportunity to develop a new office HQ building that is adaptable and meets our future requirements.

"We have been working hard with Wiltshire Council and the design team to create a high quality and sustainable building that demonstrates our commitment to Chippenham."

If successful, the proposals would bring significant investment to the town with a landmark employment building which would allow Good Energy to expand and provide more jobs.

The new car park would also provide extra public car parking for visitors to the town centre, station, the Olympiad and Monkton Park.