New view of Wokingham Elms Field developmentBy Laura Herbert
December 20, 2012
This picturesque park is the vision for Elms Field which has been exclusively revealed to The Wokingham Times by the town centre regeneration bosses.
Looking from the cafe of the new supermarket the artist’s impression reveals a ‘flagship’ play area, fountains, seating area and large events space.
Despite some fears there will only be a small section of open space remaining, regeneration bosses insist the green space on Elms Field will be the size of two football pitches.
The designated events space will have water and power points and reinforced surfaces designed for vehicles delivering stages and marquees.
Stan Hetherington, who helps organise the open air cinema and Wokingham Food and Drink Festival, said: “Putting on events in Elms Field is a difficult task due to the slope and uneven nature of the field. It also suffers from a lack of water connection points, foul drainage and electrical services.
“The new park will overcome all these issues and we are really looking forward to bringing events to the town centre which currently cannot be accommodated.”
Councillor Alistair Corrie, executive member for regeneration, said: “We have a handful of events that take place during the summer, such as the Food Festival and May Fayre, but the range of events and their success is limited by the lack of facilities and the design of the area.
“The regeneration project has allowed us to work alongside those who organise these events to design a park which offers the right infrastructure for running the existing events and new events.”
Once the project is complete, Wokingham Town Council will manage Elms Field, making it easier for people in the community to stage events.
Other improvements include moving the existing Elms Road from the centre of the park to the far edge to create a link between the open space and the town centre.
Following feedback, the council amended plans to ensure the largest proportion of the park remains as green open space.
Bernie Pich, Wokingham Borough Council’s head of regeneration, said: “The current space is in a great location but fails to deliver on what people tell us they need from a really good town centre park.
“At the moment the open space is fragmented by a road and dead spaces.
“We have a popular play area but the equipment is dated and does not cater to the range of age groups that you’d expect in a location like this.
“This is our opportunity to deliver a flagship playground and support the families we want to draw into the town centre.”
Plans for the park will be included as part of the wider regeneration planning application early next year.