Cedric’s site as a Centre for Wivenhoe?
Nick Denny, Property Manager of the East of England
Co-operative Society, recently addressed the Wivenhoe Society AGM. He said the
Co-op had bought the Cedric’s site as a long term strategic opportunity earlier
this year and that site assessment and evaluation could take until the end of
2015. They have agreed the Garage and the separate car-valeting service could
stay there for the time being. In the meantime they would welcome suggestions for
its future use from Wivenhoe residents.
Many people have suggested it would be a better place for
the new Surgery than Phillip Road Centre but it is too late to consider
changing it as a lease has already been signed with ECC locking the doctors
into Phillip Road, and in any case the Cedric’s site would be far more
expensive to develop than to refurbish the old school building.
I would like to see this space become a real centre for
Wivenhoe. A place which would include:
The Wivenhoe Garage and the car valeting service
A Coffee Bar with wifi where people could sit
and meet other people and for it to be a Reception also for a gym and small one-person
studio offices that could be rented to people as an alternative to
working from home.
I think Wivenhoe also needs another large meeting
room that might be used by the Youth Club in the evenings and for gatherings of
whatever sort in the daytime. Again, use the Coffee Bar as the entrance to this
This could become a busy place with a little imagination by
creating reasons for people to go there. Have a coffee whilst you get your car
washed, or your tyres checked. Pick up a croissant on your way through to do
some work in a quiet space, or an energy drink after a work-out in the
And upstairs, may be two storeys (like the Park Hotel and
the flats in De Vere Lane) with homes for rent by both young and older people.
I see the existing old Gatehouse building incorporated into
a scheme based around a central courtyard with adequate car parking at the rear
for not just the residents but users of these various facilities and, of course,
the Co-op store across the road.
We have got to think about making the site viable for it to
stand a chance of succeeding, otherwise it will just become more housing ‘cos
the Co-op has bought the site with existing planning consent for 24 houses.
I have put this proposal in the Wivenhoe Society newsletter.
I would like to know people’s thoughts.
I know people have different ideas and I think it would be helpful if we
could achieve a consensus.