Redevelopment of 5-7 Church Street

Latest Update: October 2021 

image of the refurbishment works showing a stripped ceilingWe are excited that the long-awaited refurbishment has commenced and wish to keep everyone updated as the project progresses. 

Scope of the Project:  
Conversion of a library with offices into a library with offices and community facilities.  Removal of the internal staircase and installation of suitable floor support.  Installation of a new staircase.  General fitting out of the interior.  New entrance doors and new ramps. 
Progress: 
The project start was delayed (due to a number of issues outlined below) but finally got underway on 6th September 2021 
Challenges 
Support for the first floor with removal of the central staircase - The contract started slowly initially due to the appointed Structural Engineers, no longer offering Structural Engineering solutions.  As the work of the Structural Engineers had not yet been completed, it was imperative that new contractors were appointed asap, otherwise the Project could not start.  New structural engineers (David Smith Associates) were appointed but unfortunately, this delayed the project start due to technical issues with the original drawings. 

Strip-out – delayed due to additional inspections necessary 

Supply chain issues due to Brexit and the pandemic causing scarcity and increased cost of materials for the project. 

The strip out has now been completed (see photos) and once the revised structural engineering design for the floor support is agreed, progress will continue.  The estimated completion date for the project is Mid to end January 2021. 

For further information, please see minutes of the Property Development Committee meetings: https://www.stonystratford.gov.uk/town-council-meetings/property-development-committee-meetings or contact our Town Clerk, Lynne Compton on either office@stonystratford.gov.uk or 01908-566726.

Update: September 2021

We are delighted to confirm that following the final round of tenders, Bespoke Construction Ltd (based in Telford) were appointed to undertake the refurbishment works at a cost of £247,068. It is hoped that work will start mid-end of September.

Update: 16th June 2021

Stony Stratford Town Council agreed unanimously at a special meeting held on Tuesday 14th June to fund work to transform the Council owned building 5-7 Church Street, Stony Stratford which currently houses the Council offices and the branch library provided by Milton Keynes Council. 

The works will include: removal of the central staircase to create two larger spaces on the ground and first floors plus improved sound-proofing, a new staircase to the side with glass block partitions creating a lighter building, a full building rewire with new lighting and heating, roof insulation and general decoration.   

This is a fantastic collaboration between the Town Council and Milton Keynes Council (Principal Authority) and we thank them for their assistance with the tendering process and funding’ - Lynne Compton, Town Clerk. 

The contractors appointed for the work were subject to a significant tendering process to ensure that the work is of the highest quality and provided value for money for the public. An improved children’s library will be an important part of the final outcome, supporting the learning of all young people within the parish. 

Update - 26th May 2021
The Council has just completed its third round of tendering with a specified final budget figure. The tenders received will be assessed against both the budget available and the quality of submissions. Potential contractors will be interviewed and a final decision taken at a special meeting of the Council on Tuesday 8th June at 7pm in the Library at 5-7 Church Street.

Thanks to Anonymous Donor
Stony Stratford Town Council would like to express its sincere thanks to the donor who has pledged up to £15,000 to ensure the 5-7 Church Street refurbishment project goes ahead.

Closure of the Library
In order to prepare for the refurbishment project, Stony Stratford Library will be temporarily closing at 12.30pm on Saturday 5th June. It is envisaged that it will remain closed until Winter 2021 (dependent on whether the whole project goes ahead). Wolverton Library is the closest alternative and opens Tues-Fri 10am-4.30pm and Sat 10am-12.30pm. www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/libraries.

We appreciate that this is not an ideal situation (and would have much preferred that the refurbishment works were carried out during the lockdowns) but Councils have to adhere to set Financial Regulations (FR) for a project of this estimated cost (£225,000). In accordance with FR Stony Stratford Town Council went through a lengthy tender process for this major project to ensure 1. Value for money and 2. Quality. The first two tenders (without budget) were unsuccessful due to bids being received exceeding the budget. Further work had to be carried out to reduce the specification and a final tender process was completed in May 2021. 

We had hoped that MKC would provide alternative Library provision in Stony Stratford, but unfortunately, this is not the case.

Update - 19th February 2020

We couldn’t have been more disappointed that all the tenders submitted for this project came in over our budget.  This was mainly due to the high quotes for bringing the building’s wiring up to standard.  However, following advice from the MKC Procurement Team, it has been agreed that the specification be further pared back, without compromising on quality for the essential items e.g. new staircase and entrance.  A new tender will then be issued stating what the budget for the project is.  If you are a business or an individual and would like to make a donation towards this project, please contact the Town Clerk for our bank details

Update - 1st July 2020

1. PUBLIC WORKS LOAN BOARD (PWLB) LOAN: At its meeting of 3rd July 2019, this Council resolved to seek the approval of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to apply for a PWLB loan of £200,000 over the borrowing term of 30 years for the purpose of undertaking major improvements to the 5-7 Church Street building. The annual loan repayments will come to around £9,490.80. Council RESOLVED (Min20/095) to approve the revised wording in line with the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government requirements. NOTE: the loan will only be taken up if the tenders received fall within the £200,000 budget (this doesn’t include VAT which will be reclaimed)

2. 2021/22 INCREASE TO PRECEPT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE LOAN REPAYMENTS ON 5-7 CHURCH STREET:  The Council intends to increase in the Council Tax precept for the purpose of the loan repayment of 4.25% which is the equivalent of an additional £3.72 (per household) a year. This has already been the subject of a precept increase consultation (the results of which were publicised).

3. TENDER SPECIFICATION:  Consultants were appointed to write the specification and carry out the pre-tender checks e.g. Asbestos, Structural work (to ensure there will be sufficient support once the stairs have been moved from the centre of the room).  Pre-tender expressions of interest were invited (using the Local Government Shared Services Procurement Services (LGSS)) during Feb/March which resulted in 30 expressions of interest.   It is envisaged that the Invitation to Tender will be ready during the week of 6th July 2020.  The tender will be open for four weeks and (subject to tenders being within the allocated budget) work is scheduled to start on site 1st September 2020.  The redevelopment will take approximately 6 months.  

For further information, please see minutes of the Property Development Committee meetings: http://www.stonystratford.gov.uk/town-council-meetings/property-development-committee, or contact our Town Clerk, Lynne Compton on either office@stonystratford.gov.uk or 01908-566726

Background Documents

Report for Full Council from the Property Development Committee

Latest Feasibility Study

QS Estimated Costings

Town Clerk Preliminary Finance Report

Tender Public Notice  - Contract for Refurbishment of Stony Stratford Library 

5-7 Church Street Consultation

Consultation Timetable