View Full Version : Plans for Wick's new council offices

07-Dec-11, 17:37
Modern building will house all departments

WICK town centre is set to get a boost with plans for the long-awaited new council offices due to go before Highland Council planning committee, next week.
The plans, which have been the subject of extensive consultations, will involve the demolition of the existing building in Market Square and will bring together all the municipal offices under one roof.
The adjoining Stafford Place section, a listed building dating back to the 1820s will be repaired and refurbished. Historic Scotland has welcomed the retention and refurbishing of the building.
The new council complex is being recommended for approval by planning officials. They say the Wick chapter of the Caithness Local Plan promotes a healthy and vibrant town centre and aims to strengthen the town’s role as a sub-regional shopping and business centre. The planners acknowledge that Market Square is a high profile site and a key part of the landscape and any development must be in keeping with the scale and “massing” of surrounding buildings, some of which listed.
The demolition of the old building is seen as essential to delivering significant benefits to the economic growth or the wider community. The council say the major scheme is aimed at improving office accommodation and service delivery to the local community and the wider community in Caithness.
The report due to go before councillors at Tain, on December 13, states that keeping services centrally based in the town and leading the way for future development, is a key driver for the region’s economy and encourages support of economic growth for both Wick and Caithness.
Planners say that the design of the new offices is modern and contemporary but “there is a pattern and grain to the proposal that respects the surrounding area”. The restoration of the Stafford Place building will be enhanced by the main office accommodation. It will mean the loss of 36 car parking spaces but it is pointed out that there are a number of car parks within the Wick town centre which are readily accessible by foot.