DESIGN changes are being made to the second phase of the £23 million Melksham Community Campus to help improve the overall customer experience.

Wiltshire Council says the "minor" changes will help make the new campus building easier to build and to manage.

The campus will offer a host of top-class facilities under one roof, including a gym, pool, sports hall, a library, café, and meeting space for the community.

While working with the contractor Pelikaan Construction Ltd and their leisure specialist architects, some changes have been proposed to the Wiltshire Council-run project.

They include reducing the height of the sports and swimming pool halls, removing windows facing residential areas, adding a community/party room on the ground floor and providing a dedicated cycle studio.

The council says these changes are not significant enough to require a new planning application, but a non-material amendment will be submitted to the planning department before the changes can be formally confirmed.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Despite the schedule change due to COVID-19, planning continues to move at pace for this project as we look to get construction under way early next year.

"The changes to the design are very sensible and we are keeping the quality of the overall customer experience at the heart of the decisions we make.

“This will be a facility the whole area can be proud of, and while there is still lots of work ahead of us, it’s really exciting to see all the planning and hard work really coming together.”

Planning and preparatory work will continue for the rest of this year, which will enable Pelikaan to begin construction work on-site in early 2021.

The full changes to the designs are:

• Café seating and pool spectator seating has been combined - flexible seating will be procured to allow for a more formal theatre style viewing for galas. General use will be in café layout. Significantly more efficient use of space;

• Relocation of ground floor public toilets to allow for passive supervision from reception but addressing privacy issues raised on the previously approved scheme;

• Relocation of the ground floor furniture store to be closer to the library;

• Relocation of the ground floor administration office from the corridor to directly behind the reception desk;

• Rationalisation of the main stair/lift configuration to allow for one lift to be in the community zone, and one in the leisure zone

• Addition of community/party room on the ground floor adjacent to the café;

• Additional windows on the east elevation (facing the carpark) into the pool hall;

• Size of pool hall has reduced - planning betterment as the bulk of the building was a concern to the planners. The pools themselves remain the same size as the consented scheme;

• Wet change area reconfigured to provide improved flow of visitors and improve collection/drop off point for lessons. Group wet change areas brought into the main changing space to improve supervision for school groups;

• Ground floor dry change layouts reviewed to allow for flexible use for wet/dry change as required;

• Addition of turnstiles by reception separating community and leisure areas;

• Addition of ‘leisure stair’ linking ground and first floor leisure areas;

• A dividing wall has been added to the sports hall, to increase flexibility;

• Fitness suite has moved from the first floor south side to the first floor north side - it will be visible from the main entrance creating a more dynamic approach to the building;

• Additional window on the north elevation (facing Melksham House) into the fitness suite;

• Addition of cycle studio by constructing over the top of the learner pool;

• Studio relocated from first floor north to first floor south and removal of the studio window - planning betterment as this was a key concern for residents of Cedar Close;

• First floor dry change areas have been rationalised and relocated to the east side of the corridor to allow for views into the sports hall from the corridor;

• First floor staff areas have moved to the other side of the corridor providing passive supervision over the pool hall;

• Relocation of the ground floor small meeting room to the first floor - glazing adjusted on the north elevation to provide natural light into this meeting room;

• External height of the sports hall has reduced - Planning betterment as this was a key concern for residents of Cedar Close;

• Alterations to the car park and service yard plan to allow a cleaner front to the building;

• External first floor plant areas reduced.Go to