The future shape of Fareham town centre is starting to take form. Two major projects in the Civic Quarter, with an agreed combined budget allocation of £19.075million, have been analysed in detail and are now ready to progress at a total cost of £18.65 million. This will result in a new surface car park to replace the decaying multi-storey at Osborn Road, sitting alongside Fareham Live, an exciting new arts and entertainment venue.
The report provides background information on the opportunities ahead and presents proposals to prepare a Fareham Town Centre Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), appoint a construction contractor for the Fareham Live project and provide a 120 space surface car park to replace Osborn Road Multi-Storey with the aim of transforming the town centre and kick starting its regeneration.
The Council’s current Corporate Strategy 2017-23 commits to starting the regeneration of the town centre and the creation of a new arts and entertainment venue.
The development of plans for the future of Fareham town centre as a whole and both Fareham Live and Osborn Road Multi-Storey Car Park have evolved over a number of years.
Fareham Town Centre Regeneration
A budget of £275,000 was approved by the Executive on 9 July 2018, to fund the development and delivery of master-planning work in the Civic Quarter.
As would be expected of initiatives of this size, the Fareham Live and Osborn Road Car Park projects have taken up the majority of the available officer resource during the last few years, meaning that only £22,000 of the master-planning budget has so far been spent.
Changing retail patterns, the loss of key retailers and the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on Fareham town centre and there is a clear need to progress and deliver regeneration proposals for the town centre. The Local Plan 2037 identifies a central area of the town centre that could accommodate around 620 new homes with a mixture of retail, commercial, food and leisure uses alongside the new Fareham Live venue.
The report proposes that the remaining master-planning budget be used to fund the preparation of a Fareham Town Centre Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to provide greater clarity on development proposals and guide investment.
The cost of raw materials and building resources for construction projects have inevitably rapidly increased since the start of the pandemic. This resulted in the construction costs rising from £12.57m in late 2020 to £13.35m when the Executive approved the restarting of the project following a 10-month pause on the 30 September 2021.
Following the resumption of the project, tenders were sought from the building contractors shortlisted for the project prior to the pause in 2020.
Completed tenders were returned on 30 January 2022, with refinements following further clarification questions. Each submission was higher than the £13.35m estimated by the project’s cost consultants in September 2020.
The preferred bidder scored equal lowest on the tendered sum and highest in terms of quality and is presented for approval at confidential Appendix A to the report. The overall project budget has increased to £16.69m when the non-construction related costs, such as contingencies, consultant fees and furniture, fittings and equipment purchases are included.
Following the award of contract, the Council would enter into a period of negotiation with the contractor and their supply chain to identify value engineering opportunities to reduce the contract sum, and therefore the budget shortfall, before the formal award of tender.
Osborn Road Car Park
On 10 September 2020 the Executive approved, in principle, proposals for the refurbishment of Osborn Road Car Park at a cost of £5.5m. Around 500 modern sized spaces would be provided with the structural supports extending the facility’s life by an estimated 15 years.
Levels of use in most town centre car parks have been slow to recover after the pandemic with Osborn Road at an average of 20% capacity in May 2022.
Technical feasibility works have shown that this refurbishment option was more complex and more extensive than anticipated, with the works now estimated to be £8m at 2021 prices. Therefore, it is no longer considered financially viable.
A surface car park costing £1.96m with around 120 spaces, including 8 disabled bays, is now proposed at the Osborn Road site. This would result in 1,077 spaces being within a 5 minute walk of the 800 seat capacity Fareham Live and still meet the medium needs of the town centre.
Decision type: Key
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Notice of proposed decision first published: 14/04/2022
Anticipated restriction: Part exempt - View reasons
Decision due: 16 May 2022 by Executive
Lead member: Executive Member for Policy & Resources
Lead director: Director of Leisure and Community
Contact: Lindsey Ansell, Director of Leisure and Community Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background Papers: *File of Tender Responses