Honiton Community Centre – A Green Opportunity

I recently joined the town council here in Honiton as a town councillor for the Honiton St Michael’s ward. One of the biggest issues in town is the proposed Community Centre which I am in favour of. I am currently looking closely at the latest business plans and thinking about how this is a real opportunity for our town to have a truly ‘green’ and sustainable community building, incorporating all the latest eco-build techniques and energy efficiency measures.

Ideally the centre should produce it’s own energy but what is the best way to do this. We need to try and keep costs down whilst also ensuring we do all we can to be environmentally friendly in the materials we use, using local labour, and how the centre runs in the long term.

I will be contacting lots of local “experts” to ask for guidance on this project – please post your comments below, and let’s start a conversation about how to make Honiton Community Centre an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient heart of the community.

Thanks to everyone for responding & contributing. I’ve added this picture below of an Oak building from the Forever Green website as I think it is just beautiful and I’d love to see something built in town from natural materials like this.

5 Replies to “Honiton Community Centre – A Green Opportunity”

  1. Hi Sharon

    Congratulations on your election – it’s great to have a Green councillor in East Devon. I hope you’re the first of many.

    I totally support your desire to make the community centre energy efficient, and generate it’s own electricity. Getting good is advice is key, and prices and expertise can vary enormously. Do let us know how you get on.

  2. Hi Cathy, thanks for the comment & support. We have two Green councillors in East Devon now, I’m on Honiton Town Council and Emily McIvor is a Green councillor on Axmouth Parish council.

  3. Dear Madam
    Para 24 of the Business Plan lists Ivybridge as a comparable .
    They have PV cells and at the bottom of the stairs by the Cafe they have a direct readout of :
    Instant rate of power generation in kw .
    Total power generated since opening – 3 1/2
    years ago in kwh.
    Total CO2 saved .
    It is very interesting to sit in the cafe and watch the fluctuations in output as the clouds roll past . The total power is a very good tool for making realistic predictions of annual output .
    The staff are very helpful and if at some time in the future Honiton decides to sharpen up its Business Plan and use its comparables then a discussion with them on lessons learned would get us into the right ballpark .
    Yours sincerely
    R Nix

  4. Thanks for the comment, and apols for delay in replying. We are supposed to be visiting the Ivybridge community centre at some point and although I had a meeting i there the other day, I would like to have a proper look round the new community centre in Sidmouth.

  5. Dear Madam
    In this life one learns byexperience- preferably other peoples!
    Your visit to Ivybridge and a look at their accounts shows the financial problems associated with employing staff – a shortfall of £45k . A visit to Sturminster Newton – more similar to the Beehive than Ivybridge – shows that their financial salvation ie breaking even – is based on maximising the use of volunteers .For the Beehive our salvation is to return to Lace Walk as then one can co-locate the TIC and use their staff to run reception .
    When one looks at the Minutes of the EDDC meeting of 14 Jul 2010 which moved the Beehive out of Lace Walk this was based on four factors . Of these only one was financial and that was an alleged ‘Loss of car park revenue ‘ .
    This is not true . The long stay cars can move over the road to Dowell Street so this is revenue neutral . The Beehive and particularly the Registrar is a NEW facility so will bring in new revenue . As regards the existing TIC building either rent it out or demolish – single story- and convert the site to 20-30 spaces to compensate for those taken by the Beehive . In total no loss of income .
    In addition in Lace Walk foundations might well be cheaper so ( £140k) of spurious expenditure not needed .
    We need to go back to EDDC for a return to Lace Walk as it would not cost EDDC anything and would save Honiton a fortune , both capital and running , as well as minimise the
    disruption .
    Yours sincerely
    R Nix

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