Building a bright future for Wokingham town centre
Friday 6th February, 2015
Creating strong communities where residents have leisure and recreational facilities they need is at the heart of Wokingham Borough Council's vision for regenerating its town centres.
New leisure facilities and public spaces
As part of its Wokingham town centre regeneration project, the council is looking to improve residents' health and wellbeing by providing high quality leisure facilities and public spaces in the town centre.
The Carnival Pool site on Wellington Road was identified in the town centre masterplan as the best location to expand leisure facilities in the town centre. Therefore the council is proposing to create a new leisure hub on site, with a mix of new and existing sport and recreation facilities.
The council has also been backed by the Local Enterprise Partnership which has provided a loan to enable this project to be brought forward allowing the infrastructure to support Wokingham's regeneration. The proposals also include a new multi-storey car park to help meet future parking requirements
Have your say
From Monday February 9 proposals can be viewed on this website. Everyone is invited to have their say on these suggestions and thoughts, to help determine the type of facilities and activities they would like to see in the new leisure hub. Residents can also preview the proposals and ask any questions they may have at two drop-in sessions taking place on:
- Thursday February 12 between 10am and 3pm at Market Place, Wokingham
- Tuesday February 17 between midday and 7pm at the Carnival Pool, Wellington Road, Wokingham
Cllr Philip Mirfin, executive member for regeneration and communities, said:
"Feedback from the recent leisure survey has given us some ideas of the kinds of facilities which could work in the town. We're proposing that some space on the site could be used to improve and expand the existing leisure facilities at Carnival Pool. Ideas could possibly include a new indoor sports facility, a bigger gym or flexible spaces for the community for things such as exhibitions, meetings, concerts and sports clubs. But this is just our thinking, we now want to know what improvements the local community would like to see.
"Over the past year we have been talking to local people about all aspects of regeneration. We had informative dialogue around Peach Place prior to submitting our plans, which are due to be considered next month in March.
"This is the next step in our journey to regenerate our town centre. This consultation is an opportunity for people to input into the design process of the car park and have a say about the type of leisure facilities they would like to see. Working in partnership with local people is key, and we want to build on from our discussions on Peach Place proposals. That’s why we hope as many people as possible will help us shape our plans. By working together we can continue to make sure our town is a great place to live, work and visit."
Some elements of the proposals are fixed. These include retaining the existing swimming pool facilities, improving the leisure facilities on this location and a car park with 500 spaces. But the public will be able to give their views on what other facilities they would like on the site, what the car park should look like, and how the new public spaces could be used.
The council has also been discussing its plans with current occupiers on the site including the bowling alley, Cadets and Southgate House to see how they can be integrated into the plans or relocated elsewhere.
The consultation closes on March 6. The council will then consider comments and ideas before working up detailed designs for the car park, and refining ideas for the layout of the site and what leisure facilities should be included.
A hybrid planning application would be submitted in spring (including full details of the car park design and outline ideas for the rest of the site). It is hoped the planning application would be considered in the summer, with construction starting in 2016 (subject to approval).
The council will continue to work up detailed design for the leisure facilities and will consult further on its plans later in the year.