Elms Field Works Update
This Tuesday (March 19 2018) marks ayear to the day since contractors McLaughlin & Harvey started work on thecouncil’s exciting Elms Field proposals.
Progress has been good and later thissummer residents will be able to shop in the Aldi supermarket, and enjoy somefamily fun in the great new play area and park. Visitors will also be able stayin the 95-room Premier Inn hotel, which is also due to open by the autumn.
The latest milestone will be reachedwith the opening of the new roads Biscoe Way and Earle Crescent to createaccess to Elms Road from Shute End. At the moment the western section of EarleCrescent will remain shut while WBC’s partners, David Wilson Homes, who are dueto start on site soon, build the new houses around the park. Once all thehouses are completed Earle Crescent will open up completely creating a new linkfrom Wellington Road to Shute End via Biscoe Way. This will help local trafficby offering an alternative route for when there are issues further downWellington Road or at the station.
Cllr Philip Mirfin, executive memberfor regeneration, said: “It’s amazing to see how much has been achieved in thelast year with some areas already completed and others on target to open up inphases from this summer through to early next year as planned.
“At the beginning of March Aldi tookownership of their new foodstore which is expected to open in June this year.Recruitment is also underway and I’m very pleased to see new jobs coming to thetown centre. This was always one of our core objectives for regeneration whichis set to see over 550 additional new jobs created across the projects.
“It’s also great to see a cinemareturning to the town centre after so many years’ absence and Everyman are afantastic boutique chain with a real emphasis on the cinematic experience and awider cultural offer which will fit into Wokingham very well.”
The opening of the new roads willallow contractors, McLaughlin & Harvey, to start transforming the lowersection of Elms Road into grassed open space ready for the summer. Works in thepark also include the creation of a brand new destination play area, which hasbeen designed with feedback from Plan Inclusive Play (PiPA) as the councilwanted to make sure it achieves the PiPA status which sets the benchmark forinclusive play areas across the country.
The designs have also been amended toaccommodate suggestions from local families during the 2016 consultation. Theseinclude incorporating a new carousel swing unit, bigger trampoline, and workingwith a local tree carver to create some exciting pieces like sculptures,climbing logs and feature benches from trunks retained during the early works.
Alongside the landscaping works theborough council is in the final stages of agreeing a lease to Wokingham TownCouncil who, as with the other town centre parks, is set to take on managementof the park for the longer term.