Plymouth Life Centre wins 'best community building' award

Plymouth’s Life Centre has won an accolade for the contribution it makes to the lives of residents in the city in an award that recognises the strong relationship between the Council’s building control team and developers and architects.

The team behind the project to build the sports and leisure facility was awarded the ‘Best Community Building’ in recognition of the positive impact Plymouth Life Centre has had, not just getting people involved in sport at every level, but ensuring the centre was at the heart of the community.

At the design stage over 30 community engagement and consultation events took place and all sporting and community groups were involved, helping balance the demands of competition and elite users with those of the general public.

The consortium was made up of the Council as client, contractor Balfour Beatty, architects Archial, structural and fire engineers Arup and the Plymouth and Cornwall Building Control Partnership. The construction included a hugely-successful work placement scheme, with four students a week completing on-site work experience and 16 apprenticeships were created.

John Bunker, Balfour Beatty Construction Director said: “This award is particularly pleasing as entries for the LABC awards are nominated by the Building Control officers and our success reflects the successful working relationship between Plymouth City Council and Balfour Beatty recognising the efforts made by our site team to involve the local community.”

The team was presented with the award in Torquay at the annual Local Authority Building Control Awards, which celebrate excellence in the quality of new buildings as well as the importance of the good working relationships between Council building control teams and the building industry.

Other city winners which worked with the Plymouth and Cornwall building control partnership included:

  • Best large residential development – Kinterbury Square and Foulston Avenue built by Galliford Try Partnerships for Devon and Cornwall Housing with LHC Architects as well as engineers Airey and Coles
  • Best technical innovation – the Marine Research Building, the University of Plymouth with contractors Leadbitter, Architect BDP

The building control team regulates the design and construction of buildings and provides advice, support and training to developers and partners before and during the construction process. The awards recognise the team’s importance in making sure projects are built to the highest standard, are safe, accessible and energy efficient.

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet member for Planning, said: “Our team works with developers and architects to produce quality buildings to make they are safe, accessible, energy-efficient and built well.

“There are many people to bear in mind when it comes to building something; the person paying for the work, the contractor, the architect, the sub-contractor. These are often complex jobs with many technical issues and keeping customers satisfied is an important part of the job. Hats off to the team for this result!”

Building control is involved in every step of the building and planning process from pre-application (initial design) stage through to completion and handover to the client. They attend site and design team meetings throughout the process.

Plymouth and Cornwall Building Control Partnership has been operating for two years and shares resources and staff available between the two councils to make a more efficient service for customers.