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Shinfield Parish Residents Can Shape The Future Of Sports & Open Spaces In The Area

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Shinfield Parish residents have an opportunity to have their say to shape sport and leisure facilities in their area.

A consultation on the future of grassroots sport and green space, hosted jointly by the University of Reading and Shinfield Parish Council, will help to guide the delivery of future sports and leisure facilities across the parish.

This will include a chance to see plans for new sports facilities and communal growing spaces, with input sought from sports and recreation clubs and societies, their members, and others across the area.

The plans will include sports facilities for which location and funding has already been agreed, linked to previous development in the parish, and which will be completed in the next 18 months. However, the Parish Council and University are also looking for people’s views on longer-term needs for sport and recreation, to help deliver what is wanted most in the future.

The consultation will include an event on Saturday 28 January, held at School Green Centre in Shinfield, giving residents the chance to speak in person to representatives from the University and the Parish Council. People can provide feedback to help guide the delivery of two specific projects.

Sports facilities

The proposals are to deliver up to six additional sports pitches, which could come forward in the future as part of further development within the parish, close to Shinfield West Pavilion. This is part of pre-existing development plans for the area, with the project being separate to the University’s Loddon Garden Village proposal, which is linked to Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Plan Update, currently on pause.

The Shinfield West Pavilion is currently under construction and, when complete, will provide a brand new sports facility and cricket pitch, as previously requested by local clubs.

The University has put forward proposals for a further six sports pitches as part of a Reserved Matters Application for the site, but would like to consult with local residents on what type of pitches these should be. Options could include sports pitches for football, hockey, rugby, American football, tennis, or other sports – depending on the demand from local people and clubs.

Cllr Ian Clarke, Chair of Shinfield Parish Council’s Recreation & Amenities Committee, said: “Sport and recreation are vital to any vibrant, healthy community, and Shinfield Parish residents deserve the best. We want to hear from everyone in the parish who has a view on the future of our sport and leisure so we can deliver as much as possible of what our residents need for years to come. We especially welcome ideas on the provision of facilities for young adults and women.”

In addition to the University’s proposals for Shinfield West, Shinfield Parish Council is currently looking to provide an increased range of sports facilities at Millworth Lane Recreation Ground. While current thoughts include additional tennis courts, a netball court, a basketball court and a pump track for cyclists, the Council are keen to learn from the consultation which sports will appeal most to residents and are also looking at alternatives including padel tennis, table tennis and a multi-sports court.

The Shinfield West Pavilion is due to complete in autumn 2023, when it will be handed over to Shinfield Parish Council to manage the day-to-day running of the facility. This is in addition to the Manor Sports Pavilion and pitches, which are due to complete and be handed over to Shinfield Parish Council in spring 2023.

Green space and gardens

The University and the Parish Council also want to consult local people on their aspirations for a new community growing space in Shinfield.

The University is already committed to providing traditional allotments but would like to go even further and provide a community growing garden which could include school allotment plots and an outdoor learning area, a nursery for woodland trees that could then be planted into the wider area, a community orchard, or other ideas suggested as part of the consultation process.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The University of Reading has been part of the fabric of Wokingham for more than 100 years and we want to help shape the future of the Borough and the facilities that exist for local residents.

“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and by providing this community growing garden we would open up opportunities for sustainable food growing and increased biodiversity, as well as educational opportunities for school children.

“We know the importance of grass root sports facilities for local communities, and the vital part they have played in the early careers of many sporting legends. We are proud to be delivering these new facilities in the next few months and years, as well as planning ahead for future demand.”

Event details

  • Date: Saturday 28 January
  • Time: 10am – 3pm
  • Location: School Green Centre, Shinfield, RG2 9EH

Please register to attend the event.

For those unable to attend the event, the proposals will be available online and comments can be submitted via email. Further details to be provided closer to the time.