Carnival Phase 1 and Phase 2
As part of the Wokingham town centre regeneration project, we're looking to improve residents' health and wellbeing by providing high quality facilities and public spaces in the town centre.
The Carnival Pool site on Wellington Road (see map above) was identified in the town centre masterplan as the best location to expand leisure, culture and community facilities in the town centre, so we're proposing to create a new building on site with a range of great facilities.
The proposals have been split into two phases as the Council wished to deliver the new multi-storey car park before work started at Elms Field, and received backing from the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (TVLEP). The TVLEP provided a loan to enable this part of the project to be brought forward allowing the infrastructure to support Wokingham's regeneration.
Work on the new car park is now complete and the Council have been granted planning consent for Carnival Phase 2, an exciting project to create a new leisure, culture and community hub for 2021. Phase 2 will see a new large leisure centre, a new home for Wokingham Library, leisure led commercial units and apartments.
Carnival Phase 2 work is expected to start in 2020 after the new Bulmershe leisure centre has been completed in Woodley. The new sports facility and library is expected to open in 2022.
View of new facility from Elms Field across Wellington Road
Informing the early plans
Wokingham Borough Council ran a public consultation for four weeks in February 2015 to find out from residents how they would like to see the area developed.
At this stage some elements of the proposals were fixed. These included keeping the existing swimming pool facilities, improving the leisure facilities on this location and a car park with 500 spaces. We wanted everyone to 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.
We used the comments and ideas that were submitted to help work up detailed designs for the car park, and will continue to use them in refining proposals for the leisure and public areas of the scheme as we move forward.
Hybrid Planning Application (Phases 1 and 2)
The council submitted a hybrid planning application for the Carnival Pool leisure redevelopment in April 2015. This included a full detailed application for Phase 1 of the work which includes the new multi-storey car park and bowling alley, and an outline application for Phase 2 of the site which includes an improved leisure centre, commercial space and new homes.
The application was granted consent by planning committee on Wednesday July 22 2015.
Building a new car park
In spring 2016 Balfour Beatty were appointed to carry out the work on the Council's behalf through the Scape Procure Framework
In order to build the new facility, the existing Carnival Pool car park was closed on June 6 2016 and remained shut until June 15 2017 when the new Carnival multi-storey car park was opened.
The new car park has 529 spaces across nine half levels and includes seventeed blue badge spaces, nine parent and child spaces and four electric charging bays.
You can find out more about parking in Wokingham town centre on the council's website.
Phase 2 Design and Engagement
View of facility from Carnival Roundabout
Since securing outline planning consent for Phase 2 of the Carnival project, the council has continued to look at proposals for the remainder of the site which is expected to include improved leisure facilities, a possible new location for Wokingham Library, commercial space, new homes and new public space.
In April and May 2017 the council took their revised proposals out for public engagement. You can download a copy of the Carnival Phase 2 Engagement handout to find out more about the engagement here.
Feedback was used to help inform the planning application documents. We're also expecting there to be further opportunities for local people to get involved in the detailed design process, such as the layout of a new library and public spaces, as we get closer to the new facility opening in 2021.
The planning application for Carnival Phase 2 was submitted to the Local Planning Authority in July 2017 and the statutory planning consultation ran until the 15 September 2017.
As part of the consultation the full set of planning application documents and drawings were made available to view at the Shute End Planning Reception (2nd Floor) and remain available on the Council's website by searcing for planning application number 172012. A selection of key documents and plans were also made available in the Shute End Mall Gallery, Wokingham Town Hall Information Centre, Carnival Pool Leisure Centre and at Wokingham Library.
The proposals were approved at Planning Committee on Wednesday 8 November 2017.
Phase 2 Update
Since gaining consent for Carnival Phase 2 the council has been working closely with Places Leisure and the Library Service to look at how they could incorporate the great ideas and feedback which came from local people during the planning process.
The internal layout has now been revised to provide all the originally identified services along with even more activities for people including -
- Exciting new leisure offer such as a Clip 'n Climb adventure climbing facility and a multi-level soft play area for an improved family offer
- New children's Splash Pad with fountains and jets alongside the pool to keep that element of fun and play
- An even bigger gym and a specialist spin studio
- A spa area
- A larger café area with more seating and improved view into the teaching pool area
- New viewing galleries for people to watch classes and activities in comfort
- Specialist acoustic designs for use of sports hall and studios as performance and event spaces for the community
- Access improvements including closer blue badge parking, improved changing and easier access into the pools
You can find out more about the revised proposals in the Carnival Phase 2 Leisure Centre and Library update - October 2019
Work on the new centre is expected to start in summer 2020 once the new Bulmershe Leisure Centre has been opened to the public.
The new Leisure Centre and Library are expected to open in 2022.