I went along to the follow-up public consultation event at Cotuit Hall this afternoon. I live far enough away not to be significantly affected by the development but I was interested to see what changes EF and their architect/planners had made since the first open event in March (see my blog about it).
The main changes I found were that there was more detail about the environmental impact of the new buildings, the building design, and the management of construction traffic. In brief, the overall height of the new buildings has been lowered a little by making more use of the sloping site and even more landscaping to screen the buildings. The middle building will be clad in vertical wooden strips with similar features used to screen the external fire stairs; the lower building will be clad in wooden shingles which the architects say is to best blend in with the ‘rustic’ nature of that end of the site. The shingles will age to a natural silver-grey colour. Personally I’m not convinced that the vertical strip cladding wouldn’t be better throughout, but it’s a matter of taste.
Construction traffic will be managed on a ‘just in time’ basis. Deliveries will be held at a holding site away from Pullens Lane and called in only when the builders are ready to receive them. A banksman will control traffic in Pullens Lane (I think this probably means a stop-go man). I noted how bad the road surace is in Pullens Lane, especially the section between the main road and Cuckoo Lane. It’s bound to get worse with heavy lorries but I guess there’s a deal to be done between the residents (it’s a private road) and the school.
There was also information in the display about how the increased number of students would be managed – no student parking, student movement constrained to the central spine of the site and so on. I didn’t look closely at this aspect. To remind you, the school in Cotuit Hall is basically a boarding school for 16-18 year-olds.
The exhibition is open tomorrow (Saturday) between 09:00 and 12:00.