It’s been a busy few weeks at Lepe which saw a milestone pass with the concrete pouring of the floorplate which has now been installed (pictured)!
In other parts of the park we’ll also be opening up the rigging area to the windsurfing community next week. We’d like to say a huge thank you for bearing with us whilst we’ve established this new area and we hope you enjoy using it. The installation of the water supply will happen later in the construction programme.
From the 2 July, you’ll also be able to access our Sensory Cottage Garden. Phase 1 is due for completion and we can’t wait to share what we’ve done with you…more info will be coming out on this shortly!
In other areas, we thought we’d answer a few frequently asked questions about the project:
1. Why have you decided to build on the beach level and not on the cliff top?
The reason for building on the beach level is because this is the plot of land that Hampshire County Council own – i.e. where the current buildings and proposed building is located. We also own the land over at Lepe Point – the local nature reserve. Aside from this, land is leased to Hampshire County Council to manage as a country park from local landowners and it’s thanks to their support and generosity that we are able to run such a unique site.
2. What materials have been used to ensure it withstands future predicted storms?
2014 saw the worst flooding at Lepe for a few years with waters over a foot in depth throughout the buildings with large costs to refurbish the building. The Easter of 2016 also saw waters raised that were only just held back by the storm boards. Given the current age and condition of the existing buildings, it isn’t viable or economical to continue to refurbish them as they are.
The new building is set 2 metres above the surrounding ground on a concrete slab, supported by concrete columns and piled foundations, which are all designed to withstand the impact of rising sea levels. The structure has a steel frame and is clad in timber with hardwood windows. The roof is covered with zinc and has large overhanging eaves to offer shade from the sun as well as protection from harsh weather to the façade.
3. When will the building be finished?
We are working towards a move into the new facility by Easter 2018. After this date, the demolition of the existing café, kiosk and office and refurbishment of the existing outdoor toilets will take place. We’ll also be installing a “changing place” facility and re-landscaping this area which will see some improved cycling stands installed too.
With the Parks being recognised for all they have to offer for, and so well loved by visitors and residents of Hampshire, this new building on the existing site will ensure the Park remains accessible and provides modern facilities to meet needs of more than 300,000 visitors every year.
As always, if you have any comments or suggestions you can get in touch with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re down at Lepe you can pop in to the office to chat to the team.