The Wokingham Paper

Residents campaign against new Dinton Activity Centre building

Local resident Rosanne Eden is leading a campaign against the building's design. Picture: Jess Warren

AN ACTION group has been set up to campaign against the plans for a new activity centre at Dinton Pastures Country Park.

The plans for a £1.8 million renovation were announced last week.

In reaction, the Dinton Anti Activity Action Group has formed to campaign against the planned design. 

Winnersh resident Rosanne Eden is leading the campaign. 

“It’s a monstrosity,” said Ms Eden. “We don’t mind if it fits in with the area, but we don’t want that two-storey building.”

The plans have already faced criticism online over the six red chimneys on the proposed design. Residents have complained that the large building looks like a unit on an industrial state, adding that it is not in keeping with the surrounding area.

On our social media, one person said: “Hopefully it’ll look less like the Titanic museum than the artist impressions.”

Another resident commented, saying: “Looks like a factory, how about a design that fits with the surroundings. Surely we can make better use of £1.8 million.”

Tanya Lee, Dinton Activity Centre manager said: “We are welcoming feedback from residents during the pre-planning application and their feedback will shape the final design. It’s important that people don’t lose sight of the fact we are looking to build a new activity centre, which the main purpose is to provide a facility that supports the wide range of water activities on offer. The current centre is 40 years old, so it’s imperative that we make investments now, so future generations can enjoy the excellent activities on offer for years to come.”

Plans for the new activity centre also include a cafe on the first floor. This would exist alongside the current Dragonfly Cafe at the park entrance.

Barbara Miles, owner of Baking Waves Ltd which operate out of the Dragonfly Cafe, said: “I only heard about the plans last Thursday. It’s in very early planning stages.

“I’m hoping to run a second outlet there. It’s going to be a slightly simpler version of the Dragonfly Cafe. 

“It won’t be the same offer, but there will be the main things like tea and coffee, and a smaller menu.

“I’m looking forward to hearing more at the planning consultation on Friday.”

However, there are concerns that the new building plans haven’t been adventurous enough.

“They could have done so much more with it,” said one local resident. “From what I understand, the new cafe will only seat 12 people, and won’t even have a kitchen.” 

“I understand the need for a new centre, as the current one isn’t fit for purpose, but they could have done so much more.”

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