DEVELOPER ISG’s application to increase working hours at the site of the new £16m Regent Circus leisure complex has been rejected by Swindon Council.
The company wanted to increase site work by two hours, from 8am-6pm to 8am-8pm Monday to Friday. It also wanted the council to allow builders to work until 5pm on Saturdays – it currently has permission for builders to work from 8am-1pm.
However, the council has given it permission to have a crane on site this weekend to install an air conditioning unit at the complex’s Cineworld multiplex, with work expected to take place on Sunday. No other Sunday working has been applied for.
Coun David Wood (Lib Dem, Eastcott) said he was pleased the working hours were not extended as many of his constituents were concerned by the noise and disruption it would cause.
He said: “The key thing is that everyone wants to see this finished on time as it’ll be a huge benefit to the town, but residents don’t want work going on at all hours. I don’t think this will have a massive influence on the completion of the project.”
As well as a cinema, Regent Circus will home a Morrisons supermarket and eight restaurants when it is completed. The complex is expected to open in the autumn.
Coun Wood said some residents have informed him work has been going on outside ISG’s permitted hours and complaints have been lodged with the council.
“This is a source of frustration for the council as there is a set of rules in place,” he said.
ISG had hoped to carry out internal work including decorating, glazing and insulation, at Regent Circus, had it been granted extended working hours.
Andy Marcer, landlord of the nearby Beehive pub, in Prospect Hill, said he was not opposed to building work going on later in the day at the neighbouring site.
He said: “To me, the sooner it is done the better, as it is going to be a massive improvement on what was there previously. But we have had a real mix of opinion in the pub and I can understand why people wouldn’t want the work going on late.”
Toby Robson, Eastcott resident and member of the Swindon’s Back Garden community group, said extended hours would greatly impede on residents.
He said: “ISG have got to be quite sensitive with the local community as we have already had to put up with the subsidence issues and the traffic chaos.”