The planning application for the new Bulmershe Leisure Centre has been submitted so people are encouraged to give their feedback on the plans during the statutory consultation period which has now started.
To take part in this consultation, simply visit the planning portal via the borough council’s website (www.wokingham.gov.uk) and input the planning application number 180828. The consultation is due to finish on 21 May.
Subject to planning permission, the £14million centre being built by Wokingham Borough Council would include a six-lane 25m swimming pool and teaching pool, with movable floors for a larger number of groups of ages and abilities to use, a bigger gym, a four-court sports hall, an additional studio, and a café.
Built in the 1970s, the current centre is past its useful life. The new facility would benefit the whole community, as well as the neighbouring schools, by creating the most up-to-date, accessible and flexible facilities that will not only encourage and empower the whole community to take part in and enjoy a range of sports and activities, but also offer preventative health services.
“We’re pleased to have got to this stage and believe this rebuild, if approved, would provide a fantastic upgraded facility for the community,” said Graham Ebers, director of corporate services and deputy chief executive at Wokingham Borough Council.
The current centre is due to close on 27 April. A soft strip demolition is due to begin on 1 May, which will see all non-structural items removed from inside and outside of the building getting it ready for full demolition to start in late July. This full demolition is due to take place during August to avoid disrupting the neighbouring schools.
While the new centre is being built, there are alternatives for current Bulmershe users at the St Crispin’s, Loddon Valley and Carnival Pool leisure centres.
It is hoped the new centre will open towards the end of 2020. It will be run by the borough council’s new provider Places for People Leisure.