Agenda item

UllaKarin Clark had asked the Executive Member for Regeneration and Communities the following question but due to time constraints the written answer below was provided:


Can the Member explain what feedback was received from the public events and workshops on the Market Place and Peach Place developments?



Can the Member explain what feedback was received from the public events and workshops on the Market Place and Peach Place developments?



I am pleased to say the Regeneration team has been working closely with our Highways colleagues who are delivering the improvements proposed for Market Place.  Collectively with the regeneration projects, the Market Place improvements are an important part of the plans being brought forward to improve Wokingham town centre for local residents, businesses and visitors.


We have been working hand and hand with Wokingham Town Council on this joint project to bring forward a set of plans which will see the area around the town hall improved with better space for pedestrians and greater flexibility for markets and community events. 


Given the proximity of the Market Place to the Peach Place regeneration scheme we felt it was important that these key areas were considered together and, with this in mind, held a joint workshop in November 2015 to discuss the approach to the detailed designs, use of the spaces and landscaping.


The workshop was well attended by local residents and representatives from groups such as the Wokingham Society, Town Team and those responsible for organising events in the spaces including the May Fayre and Winter Carnival.  In addition to the joint workshop two dedicated sessions were held for those with access needs to input about the Market Place.  Feedback proved invaluable in ensuring that the improved space will be fully inclusive.


We received some really good suggestions from these sessions for both Market Place and Peach Place and all the feedback comments are available to view on the Council’s website.


The designs for Market Place have been refined in response to feedback including the use of natural stone paving with, the type and location of seating to be provided, the retention of the signalised crossing point and the inclusion of locations for courtesy crossings, and the locations of power, servicing and improved drainage across the site.


Peach Place designs are being updated to ensure they complement the materials used in the Market Place, with certain elements of detailing being taken through to link the spaces.


Since then we have also run a further workshop in January which looked at Peach Place in more detail, with discussions around elements such as brickwork, decoration, windows and shop front designs.  We will be adding the feedback from this second session to the regeneration website shortly. 


Feedback from this workshop has been used to help develop detailed designs for facades within Peach Place, including helping refine a palette of complimentary materials, increased detailing to the facades including decorative brickwork and stone cornicing, deep window reveals.


The resulting designs will be used to bring both of these exciting projects forward next year, with work expected to start at Peach Place in January 2017 and at Market Place shortly after.


It is an exciting time for the town which will start to see real progress in the coming year with some fantastic improvements to make coming to Wokingham even better.