Ambitious plans to bulldoze Dinton Activity Centre and replace it with a brand new building have been given the all-clear by planning chiefs.
Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) said yes to the proposals at a meeting last night nine months after original designs were first unveiled.
READ MORE: The Dinton Activity Centre plans set for approval
The transformation will include:
- Building a new and modern, two-storey activity centre following the demolition of the existing one
- A new activity hall and changing facilities
- A classroom
- 86 parking spaces
Conservative councillor Simon Weeks, chairman of WBC’s planning committee, said: “For those who have visited the existing centre this is a significant improvement.
“The existing buildings are well past their sell-by-date and the site looks tired and shabby.
“I think this is an opportunity to take this [site] forward.”
READ MORE: Dinton Activity Centre plans changed after residents react
During the discussion of the planning meeting, Liberal Democrats councillor Andrew Mickleburgh asked why the new building would be rated ‘very good’ in a measure of the building’s sustainability when there are two higher levels of the ‘BREEAM’ standard.
An officer responded saying there was no planning obligation to achieve a higher status, and the ‘very good’ standard was a “reasonable” standard to adhere to.
Labour councillor Carl Doran added: “It is a flagship site for us with a countryside setting.
“With the climate emergency, I thought we would have been aspiring to something better.”
Despite these concerns, councillors unanimously approved the building designs at a meeting on Wednesday, August 12.
This means builders can now set about getting to work on the construction of the new activity centre, which was redesigned in February following a backlash from residents.
READ MORE: Reaction to ‘hideous’ Dinton Activity Centre plans
This came after complaints flooded in about the ‘hideous’ design of the original drawings, with some labelling the new activity centre a ‘concrete monstrosity.’
But the new designs got rid of the six red windcatchers which some said made the building “look like a factory” and were much more warmly received by residents.
One said: “I like the simplistic design as blends more into the surroundings than the previous design.”