Garrison Spa set to open in Shoebury by Easter

One of the pools in the spa

One of the pools in the spa

First published in News Exclusive by

A LEISURE centre could finally be open for business after two local entrepreneurs took on the long-awaited project.

The Thorpe Bay businessmen behind the successful redevelopment of the Gunnery Drill Shed plan to re-open the former barracks in Horseshoe Crescent on the Shoebury Garrison estate as an upmarket swimming pool, gym and spa.

The facility had been mothballed after garrison developer Gladedale finished it eight years ago.

But Ian Homan and Peter Thompson, of B2C Holdings, aim to welcome their first guests to the Garrison Spa by Easter.

Since buying the facility last year, the pair, who run water sports clothing business Wet Suit Outlet from the Gunnery Drill Shed in Chapel Road, have pumped money into the project. Mr Holman, 46, said: “We saw the spa was up for sale. We have got a passion for old buildings, so we have spent the last few months renovating it to get it ready.

“Come Easter we could be able to open it to garrison residents.”

Gladedale, the predecessor to garrison developer Country and Metropolitan, kitted out the building, but after eight years of lying dormant B2C Holdings have had to strip down and service the plant room to ensure the heating and air condition functions perfectly.

Damp meant the building needed new insulation, replastering and repainting.

Mr Holman, who was busy supervising the installation of new fitness equipment yesterday, said: “It needed a massive amount of work. Even though it had never been used, it has cost a considerable amount of cash.”

Gladedale promised garrison residents “village-style” living with facilities on their doorstep when it got the green light to redevelop the former MoD site in 2004.

Sainsbury’s opened a “Local” convenience-storestyle supermarket in New Garrison Road last year – the first on the estate.

Comments (11)

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6:30am Wed 5 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Very nice, will it be mixed?
Very nice, will it be mixed? carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -12

8:38am Wed 5 Mar 14

Occasionally driven to comment says...

I'm not sure it could be said that there has been a "successful redevelopment" of the Drill Shed: my understanding is that they are trading against the specific restrictions imposed by the planning inspectorate. Also, have you actually looked at the Drill Shed? Does it look redeveloped to you?
I'm not sure it could be said that there has been a "successful redevelopment" of the Drill Shed: my understanding is that they are trading against the specific restrictions imposed by the planning inspectorate. Also, have you actually looked at the Drill Shed? Does it look redeveloped to you? Occasionally driven to comment
  • Score: -3

8:52am Wed 5 Mar 14

geriatric says...

Having seen the Drill Shed before B2C took it on, they have done a brilliant job for the community, saving a valuable bit of our history. They also employ a number of local people in an expanding business. The council wanted to destroy this historic building by turning it into flats, I believe. Good luck with the new project.
Having seen the Drill Shed before B2C took it on, they have done a brilliant job for the community, saving a valuable bit of our history. They also employ a number of local people in an expanding business. The council wanted to destroy this historic building by turning it into flats, I believe. Good luck with the new project. geriatric
  • Score: 12

9:25am Wed 5 Mar 14

Occasionally driven to comment says...

Hmm. Do I detect a bit of personal bias from "geriatric"? In what way has the Drill Shed been saved for the "community"? It is still standing, I agree, but the community doesn't benefit - unless they want its goods - and it doesn't look much different from, say, seven years ago.
Hmm. Do I detect a bit of personal bias from "geriatric"? In what way has the Drill Shed been saved for the "community"? It is still standing, I agree, but the community doesn't benefit - unless they want its goods - and it doesn't look much different from, say, seven years ago. Occasionally driven to comment
  • Score: -7

10:27am Wed 5 Mar 14

Garrison Spa says...

The Drill Shed was on the listed building at risk register, with a state of critical. Without it's restoration it would have been lost within years. The restoration was never about turning it into a new building, but preserving it & it's history. The restoration won a design award from Southend Council, of which only 3 were issued in 2012.

Their comments were as follows:

"The Panel felt this project should be given an award to highlight the positive work that has been undertaken by the team to re-use an existing building, once in a poor state of repair. The renovation has had a positive impact, including its focus on sustainability, and it is pleasing to see a local business thriving here. The team's commitment to restoring the building shows that this is about more than just a building, it demonstrates to other businesses what can be achieved locally."

By comparison Hinguar School, Gunnery Hill & Officers Mess Renovation received commendations in 2013, not awards.

In the same year we also won an environmental award as well, for both our restoration & how we run our businesses.

The claim we are trading against the specific restrictions imposed by the planning inspectorate is simply not true.

We look forward to opening the Spa & Fitness Centre, as we have strong commitment to the Garrison & it's future.

To find out details about the Spa & Fitness Centre, please visit: www.garrisonspa.co.u
k
The Drill Shed was on the listed building at risk register, with a state of critical. Without it's restoration it would have been lost within years. The restoration was never about turning it into a new building, but preserving it & it's history. The restoration won a design award from Southend Council, of which only 3 were issued in 2012. Their comments were as follows: "The Panel felt this project should be given an award to highlight the positive work that has been undertaken by the team to re-use an existing building, once in a poor state of repair. The renovation has had a positive impact, including its focus on sustainability, and it is pleasing to see a local business thriving here. The team's commitment to restoring the building shows that this is about more than just a building, it demonstrates to other businesses what can be achieved locally." By comparison Hinguar School, Gunnery Hill & Officers Mess Renovation received commendations in 2013, not awards. In the same year we also won an environmental award as well, for both our restoration & how we run our businesses. The claim we are trading against the specific restrictions imposed by the planning inspectorate is simply not true. We look forward to opening the Spa & Fitness Centre, as we have strong commitment to the Garrison & it's future. To find out details about the Spa & Fitness Centre, please visit: www.garrisonspa.co.u k Garrison Spa
  • Score: 14

12:39pm Wed 5 Mar 14

bigmak says...

The original permission implied that use of this gym was to be restricted to Garrison residents only as there is no parking available on site, is this still the case?
By the way, in spite of the reply from the Garrison Spa regarding the Drill Shed, they do not appear to have complied yet with all the changes demanded by the Planning Inspector when grantingb the hotly contested permission, why not?
The original permission implied that use of this gym was to be restricted to Garrison residents only as there is no parking available on site, is this still the case? By the way, in spite of the reply from the Garrison Spa regarding the Drill Shed, they do not appear to have complied yet with all the changes demanded by the Planning Inspector when grantingb the hotly contested permission, why not? bigmak
  • Score: -7

12:49pm Wed 5 Mar 14

mossdog says...

Shame about the pillars in the pool.
Shame about the pillars in the pool. mossdog
  • Score: -12

4:02pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Occasionally driven to comment says...

My understanding (and it was expressed as such, not as a 'claim', and therefore cannot be "not true" although it may be incorrect) was based on a reading of the planning inspectors report which, I believe, withheld permission to trade as an outlet ie customers going into it, like a shop. If this has since been rescinded it would be helpful to know as certainly my understanding was not corrected by the councillors I discussed this with a few weeks ago. A bit more proof than the words 'not true' would be required to convince me, however. It is also quite a puzzle to understand why an award was given to a 'development' that seems only to have been repair work on an existing building, especially as the Garrison Residents Association website in July 2012 (the year of the award) comments on the fact that the company was trading before even the remedial work had been completed (again in breach of the planning inspectorate's directive) and that pressure must be brought to bear on the company to meet these basic requirements.
My understanding (and it was expressed as such, not as a 'claim', and therefore cannot be "not true" although it may be incorrect) was based on a reading of the planning inspectors report which, I believe, withheld permission to trade as an outlet ie customers going into it, like a shop. If this has since been rescinded it would be helpful to know as certainly my understanding was not corrected by the councillors I discussed this with a few weeks ago. A bit more proof than the words 'not true' would be required to convince me, however. It is also quite a puzzle to understand why an award was given to a 'development' that seems only to have been repair work on an existing building, especially as the Garrison Residents Association website in July 2012 (the year of the award) comments on the fact that the company was trading before even the remedial work had been completed (again in breach of the planning inspectorate's directive) and that pressure must be brought to bear on the company to meet these basic requirements. Occasionally driven to comment
  • Score: -7

8:40pm Wed 5 Mar 14

pierfan_43 says...

Great advertising by the developers (sneaking your website address into your response above). Just a shame your website won't load properly.
Great advertising by the developers (sneaking your website address into your response above). Just a shame your website won't load properly. pierfan_43
  • Score: -14

8:55am Thu 6 Mar 14

Garrison Lad says...

pierfan_43 Not sure what site you are trying to open but http://www.garrisonr
a.co.uk seems to work. Incidentally the site has nothing to do with the Developers and is maintained entirely at resident's expense to promote and protect Shoebury Garrison for the benefit of its community. It is a shame that B2C do not seem to want to play their part in that community, by routinely breaching the restrictions imposed by the planning inspectorate, and seem to be seeking to do so yet again in relation to the Spa.
pierfan_43 Not sure what site you are trying to open but http://www.garrisonr a.co.uk seems to work. Incidentally the site has nothing to do with the Developers and is maintained entirely at resident's expense to promote and protect Shoebury Garrison for the benefit of its community. It is a shame that B2C do not seem to want to play their part in that community, by routinely breaching the restrictions imposed by the planning inspectorate, and seem to be seeking to do so yet again in relation to the Spa. Garrison Lad
  • Score: -1

10:03pm Sat 8 Mar 14

twice shy says...

The fact is B2C is the only commercial enterprise on The Garrison, apart from the new Sainsbury's Local and as such has no interest in the site as a community. The company was not welcomed by residents and since its arrival has not been a good neighbour. The drill shed is still an eyesore due to its poor and uncompleted renovation. Instead of the two or three small delivery vans a week promised at the planning appeal hearing which followed the original refusal of the application, residents have to endure the daily nuisance of HGVs unloading at the front of the building because they are too big to unload at the rear as specified by the planning inspectorate. This operation carried out with fork lift trucks frequently blocks Chapel Road. There is a retail outlet at the premises which is blatantly advertised outside. B2C have refused to pay a single penny in estate charges, on the pretence these are too high, even though they are the biggest single user of The Garrison roads and utilities.
Residents are therefore rightly suspicious of B2C's intentions concerning the fitness centre. The planning permission for this facility stipulates it must be for that use only and exclusively for the use of residents. There is virtually no parking space available, yet Mr. Homan has stated cars can be parked on Garrison roads, implying users will be from outside. All Garrison roads in the vicinity of the facility are private and unadopted, maintained at the expense of Garrison residents and there is no right to park on them. In a few months, responsibility for managing The Garrison will pass to the residents. When that happens, the activities of cynical commercial interests will be brought to a swift end. Garrison resident
The fact is B2C is the only commercial enterprise on The Garrison, apart from the new Sainsbury's Local and as such has no interest in the site as a community. The company was not welcomed by residents and since its arrival has not been a good neighbour. The drill shed is still an eyesore due to its poor and uncompleted renovation. Instead of the two or three small delivery vans a week promised at the planning appeal hearing which followed the original refusal of the application, residents have to endure the daily nuisance of HGVs unloading at the front of the building because they are too big to unload at the rear as specified by the planning inspectorate. This operation carried out with fork lift trucks frequently blocks Chapel Road. There is a retail outlet at the premises which is blatantly advertised outside. B2C have refused to pay a single penny in estate charges, on the pretence these are too high, even though they are the biggest single user of The Garrison roads and utilities. Residents are therefore rightly suspicious of B2C's intentions concerning the fitness centre. The planning permission for this facility stipulates it must be for that use only and exclusively for the use of residents. There is virtually no parking space available, yet Mr. Homan has stated cars can be parked on Garrison roads, implying users will be from outside. All Garrison roads in the vicinity of the facility are private and unadopted, maintained at the expense of Garrison residents and there is no right to park on them. In a few months, responsibility for managing The Garrison will pass to the residents. When that happens, the activities of cynical commercial interests will be brought to a swift end. Garrison resident twice shy
  • Score: -10

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