Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Elms Fields? What to do?

There is one thing I think is very important for Wokingham the town centres plans regarding construction on Elms field,

Moving Elms road so that it goes all the way up and allows people to bypass the train station. This will mean less green on the left. 

Other than that you can take it or leave it. Sprucing up what we have would be great.

Having said that we are looking to offer something different to attract shoppers into Wokingham are we not? Are we going to fund it bit by bit through profitable local governance, loans or developer contributions (houses).

How are we not going to kill the rest of the town as the Oracle has done?

 I have made a little drawing for people to discuss and then I will actually change it quickly owing to the consensus.

I have put three shots together. What we have, what WB would like to do, What my maximum development would be trying to develop only the same area as wellington house, and protecting most of the established trees and hedgerows. I have moved the on the left to the other side of the road and made them retail at the bottom. This can result, at a glance, that the original open area on the right is smaller looks smaller. You need to look outside and include the paths that area near invisible on the WB one.

  • A. Double deck to car park
  • B. Three story building. Scalable retail / food / enclosed market space below. Regis style offices above, residential / bedsits on top
  • C. Council owned, bid run day nursery with drop and shop facility.
  • D. Basket ball 5 a side caged tarmac with installable centre net for Wokinghams Wacky Dodgeball league.
  • E. Enclosed play area
  • F. Open space / events area, with enhanced slope for natural seating.
  • G. Shallow water with fish. Radio control boat hire. Drainage into here. big end much deeper (to store more water) and grilled off.
  • H. Small retail with perhaps residential above. The offering here should be limited to sports and music culture to provide transparent area of interest to the 13-25s. Perhaps add a scate run long the path?
  • Blue dots are statues of significant historical figures such as Optimus Prime and Ghandi.

The main differences between mine an WB is No food store underground car park (flood creator) or old town killing plaza. The visual of larger units overlooking Elms is still there only much further back leaving private pick nick space to the rear of the units and protecting most of the established trees and hedgerows.

The Elms anchor is the parking, waterside setting and the drop and shop. We are looking for oracle waterside with a green to bring people in from out of town need to limit the offering to get them to wander into town. We'd also offer them the week day morning nursery / drop and shop for the weekends so the yummy mummy's can offload the little buggers before heading into town. Those using the 2.5 hour daily pre-school sessions in the week would also be all set to wander into town to get the days supplies.

I've walked the length of Reading to get from the oracle to TK max. Our TK max perhaps needs to be in a mini mall where that building opposite the Ship inn is? We send the last remaining 'Shoppers' up the whole length to get to a major clothes Store or two on that site.

Discuss . . and fix my messy text. I've not paid £x00k to consultants (relatives) to make what I like look pretty.

On a final note. If you would rather future consultations were actually consultations, i.e. they engage a representative sample and take into account their views, then you need to start standing for elections rather than leaving it to developers cronies.


  1. -Need bars/clubs in order to address Wokingham's dismal night life- I can assure you as a 21 year old we're missing out on a huge amount of trade from 18-25 year olds from Wokingham who go "out" in Reading instead, and typically spend between £30 and £50, which with a Revs or similar could be spent here.
    - Despite your constant rants about "destroying the beautiful elms field" (its average at best), your plans appear to barely save more space than the councils, its just that you are proposing to provide less on the same amount of land.
    -If a retail analyst says we need a new supermarket then we need a new supermarket: Id imagine someone who identifies locations for food stores for a living would know more about shopping patterns than armchair urban planners like us.
    -I'd research Ghandi properly before suggesting a statue of him.

  2. Yes Andy. Area H is for the 18-25 indi / sports vibe. I think you'll find, size for size, Wokingham is doing ok on 18-25 night life. Yes gangs do not flock in from afar to vent their energy. Well this is why a lot of people chose to live in Wokingham.

    Elms. Well there is obviously differing views. I am surrounded by people who want the leisurely market town feel. A poor mans Hartley Whitney.

    Space wise it is down to how I have coloured the areas. Most of the area coloured areas and paths are still green open space or play park but has been coloured for use. Focus on the areas of construction or tarmac on the right. Then you can see the actual difference.

    The road on the left is outside the buildings so it gives an illusion of more space on the left being used when in fact it is the same .

    Retail analysis regarding supermarket, We have 2 in town centre already. I'm not actually that against, but loose the plaza and the underground car park.