Agenda item

Alistair Auty asked the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development and Regeneration the following question:


Can the Executive Member provide an update on the regeneration works on Peach Street?


Can the Executive Member provide an update on the regeneration works on Peach Street?



January 9th this year saw Dawnus Construction Limited start work on delivering Peach Place for the Council in line with the programme.


Since then work has continued to progress well and over the last six months we’ve complete the following


·           Strip out the buildings across the site including the removal of asbestos and disconnection of utility services;

·           Demolish the existing Peach Street buildings and undertake party wall works to the adjacent buildings, the Redan and Costa;

·           Work closely with utility companies to achieve the re-routing and connection of power, water and telecoms services;

·           Pour the foundations for the new Peach Street buildings;

·           And, just last week, we’ve started erecting the steelwork of the buildings fronting Peach Street.


This has all been managed with minimum disruption to the town centre. We continue to set ourselves ambitious targets, such as getting the Peach Street lane restriction removed within 15 weeks and continuing to keep Rose Street open for two way traffic whilst works are carried out to services, and we continue to achieve them successfully.


We fully expect to achieve our target of Peach Place being completed ready for Christmas next year.


As can be seen from the hoardings around the site, Peach Place will be a great new destination for Wokingham.


We will be bringing great new retailers and restaurants to the town centre, improving the offer for local residents and visitors, with better variety and choice of shops and new places to relax with friends and family, away from traffic and benefitting from outdoor seating. We’re in negotiations with some great companies which I know local residents will be excited to see come to Wokingham and I’m looking forward to sharing more in the coming months.


We’re also creating the kind of outdoor space which will be perfect for expanding existing events like local markets and specialist markets along with the Fayres and Carnivals that bring so many people to town.


But it’s not just about what we’re doing to improve the experience of people coming to Wokingham. It’s also about the other benefits the Peach Place scheme brings such as


·         the creation of new jobs, with over 50 new construction jobs and over 100 new permanent jobs in the retail and restaurants at Peach Place alone

·         New homes that will bring around £700k per year additional spend into the local economy and help create a safer and more vibrant location, as well as helping deliver the regeneration at no cost to the tax payer

·         £358k in contributions towards local infrastructure such as schools and leisure

·         Circa £1.5m a year in rental income which can be used to help fund projects and services for residents across the Borough for years to come


Benefits like these, and more, are echoed across our regeneration proposals. At Elms Field and Carnival too.


Personally, I can’t wait for the scheme to be finished and am pleased to see so much progress on site.


This is about delivering the town centre Wokingham, its residents and its businesses deserve. A great future for a Wokingham that exceeds expectations rather than struggles to meet them.