Last night (8 November) Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee approved the second phase of the Carnival site in Wokingham town centre.
The proposals for Carnival Phase 2 will see the borough council redevelop the remainder of the Carnival site from early 2020 with a brand new leisure centre, library, and apartments. These will be focussed around a new promenade linking the Carnival site to the centre of town with a new signalised pedestrian crossing on Wellington Road and a footpath leading up through the Elms Field park.
Cllr Stuart Munro, executive member for business and economic development and regeneration, said: “We are pleased with the committee’s decision which recognises what an excellent asset the new facility will be for the local area. These proposals are the result of many years of consultation with local residents and businesses to identify the types of sports, leisure and community facilities we need to deliver in the area.
The Carnival Phase 2 plans are part of the wider regeneration proposals for Wokingham and have been designed to complement other developments at Elms Field and Peach Place. This application follows on from the original Outline consent (O/2015/1056) which also included the construction of the new 529 space multi-storey car park and Wokingham Superbowl as part of Carnival Phase 1.
Cllr Stuart Munro added: “The redevelopment of the Carnival site is a major opportunity to create a flagship leisure centre and library which will offer so much for the local community. It’s not just about the fantastic sports facilities that will be created but the added extras such as the large studio spaces, which can also be used for community events, and the four court sports hall which can change into a four hundred seat performance venue for lectures and theatre events. The new library space, with its added flexibility, will also be able to offer a much larger range of events and activities to the local community.”
The Carnival Phase 2 proposals will be delivered as part of the wider town centre regeneration development with the existing leisure centre expected to close in early 2020 before it is demolished and rebuilt ready to open by the end of 2021.
During the closure residents will be able to access alternative facilities at Council owned leisure centres across the borough. The existing library will stay open until the new facility is completed and ready to open.