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Coda Music Centre in Walkford submits application to expand site



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A WALKFORD music charity has unveiled plans to expand its base with the transformation of a disused stable block, barn and cow sheds into an exhibition space, studios and a cafe.

Coda, based in Chewton Farm Road, also wants to create a new reception area and overhaul its parking area and driveway.

As reported in the A&T earlier this year, the charity received a £340,000 grant from Arts Council England, which it announced would go towards transforming on-site farm buildings into an “inspirational” facility.

Coda wants to turn a disused stable block, barn and cow sheds into an exhibition space, studios and cafe
Coda wants to turn a disused stable block, barn and cow sheds into an exhibition space, studios and cafe

It is the only music centre of its kind locally, providing high-quality programmes, tuition, workshops and creative therapy to the most vulnerable in society.

In its application to BCP Council, Coda said the main driving force behind its plans was a desire to enhance the overall accessibility of the site.

"At present, due to the nature of the building, there are level differences, uneven surfaces, unclear access points and other general issues that come with the conversion of an agricultural building over time," it stated.

"The new spaces proposed to the north of the site will be designed to be as inclusive as possible.

"This means using flooring that is easy to traverse both internally and externally, using signage and lighting in such a way that the spaces are easy to navigate, and using materials both in the construction and the landscaping that engage the senses and enhance user experience.

The scheme proposes electric vehicle charging points in the car park and a Beryl Bike bay
The scheme proposes electric vehicle charging points in the car park and a Beryl Bike bay

"The ethos of Coda is very much one of innovation and inclusion and we want to create a sustainable environment for not only its users but the wider environment."

With that in mind, Coda wants to include renewables as part of the scheme, incorporating air source heat pumps and photo voltaic cells.

The scheme also proposes electric vehicle charging points in the car park and a Beryl Bike bay, and the new spaces will be designed with a view to utilising natural light in an effort to reduce reliance on artificial light.

Coda is also focussing on biodiversity, with plans for bat roosts and swallows as well as soft landscaping features.

Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council has pushed for the access drive to be tarmac rather than the proposed compacted gravel in order to curb noise from traffic at the site.



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