Friday, 27 November 2020

Closed bowls club could be venue for new playground

A BID has been made to rent the land formerly used by Peppard Bowls Club, with the

A BID has been made to rent the land formerly used by Peppard Bowls Club, with the intention to build a playground on it.

Peppard Parish Council has offered to pay of £950 per year for the land at Peppard war memorial hall, off Gallowstree Road, which was vacated in January when the bowls club disbanded.

The trustees are currently trying to replace the £923 annual rent they received from the bowls club, which closed down after no one came forward to run it. The portion of land the parish council is looking to lease is about 60sq m.

Councillor Simon Crouch, who chairs the council, said if the plans were to go ahead the playground would target five- to 11-year-olds.

He said: “Six of the eight councillors were in favour of sending them a letter. We can’t provide a formal offer until we have the details confirmed. It’s an indicative figure.

“The £950 is about the equivalent of what the bowls club paid them for usage. We hope they are happy with that indicative figure because it is not a formal offer.”

Cllr Crouch said the offer did not include any money towards a café or tea room which the trustees had hoped to open. “The thought is they could probably run that separately to give them more income,” he said.

The council already has planning permission for a £50,000 playground on the Top Common, near the lay-by on the link road between the B481 and Colliers Lane. They plan to run a questionnaire on their plans to put a playground on the memorial hall site.

Cllr Crouch said any work to start building would not start for at least 18 months as it needed funding. He said: “We have got a plan to raise the funds and until we have confirmed these we don’t want to make a formal offer.

“Now we are putting together a one-page proposal for what the playground looks like. This document could be used for either site, the memorial hall or the top common, but we have to make sure we are able to raise the funds.”

He added: “Everything being equal the war memorial hall is the preferred location.”

Brian Cresswell, treasurer for the war memorial hall trustees, said: “The council came and met with us and we told them what we would like in terms of a lease. We will talk about their proposal and then go back to them.”

Meanwhile, five entry gates to playgrounds in Sonning Common are set to be replaced. It comes after the village’s three play areas, which are in Lea Road, Baskerville Road and Churchill Crescent, were inspected on May 25.

An inspector said some of the gates were a potential hazard and one of the gates at Lea Road has had to be temporarily removed. It was recommended the council purchase new gates, at a cost of £1,500 each.

Speaking at a parish council meeting last week, deputy parish clerk Ros Varnes said: “There will be some fairly substantial work that needs doing in the short term. One of the issues included resurfacing the Baskerville Road play area. It is no longer fit for purpose.  The next step is to speak to some playground companies who can both repair and carry out resurfacing.

“There is other work needed including on the gates of all three, they need appropriate repairs or replacements. We have taken some off and now they are safe.”

Councillor Carole Lewis said gates would be needed at Baskerville Road to stop dogs accessing the play area as it was a popular area for dog walkers and Councillor Barrie Greenwood added: “We need to prevent people running out and in the case of Lea Road and Baskerville Road they go out on to the main road.”

Parish clerk Philip Collings said residents of Lea Road were keen for the playground to have a lock on the gate, as it did currently, while Cllr Lewis said the same standard of gate would be needed for the skatepark at Bishopswood recreation ground.

It was agreed the deputy clerk would investigate further prior to the council’s next full council meeting next month.

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say