The Mapledurham pavilion will get a new accessible toilet, two referee changing rooms and meeting rooms as part of plans to revamp the playing fields.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Planning Applications committee approved the council’s own plans last week, on Wednesday, December 11.

The Mapledurham Playing Fields has been surrounded by controversy after RBC gave planning permission for a new school to be built on part of the land.

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After works were approved to upgrade football pitches and provide lit pathways in April, protestors shouted that the council had ‘wasted money’ that they wanted to be spent on the Mapledurham Pavilion.

A revamp of the pavilion will now go ahead and these plans passed without any objections.

The works include five different extensions, which will enable the addition of:

  • Two new referee changing rooms
  • An accessible toilet and other shower and toilet facilities
  • Two meeting rooms and two storage rooms

Permission was previously granted for extensions in 2013 but only extensions to the east of the building for the tennis club went ahead.

The new application was put forward because the changes now required to upgrade the pavilion are significantly different.

The plans will see two changing rooms removed and replaced in another part of the building.

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RBC will also refurbish the building, replacing the existing pavilion roof and hall doors.

The works will be carried out in two phases, with the first stage including the new referee changing rooms and toilet and shower facilities as well as internal refurbishments.

Why are some residents not happy with developments at park?

RBC granted planning permission in August 2018 for The Heights Free School to be built on part of the playing fields.

The decision was controversial and opposed by the Mapledurham Playing Fields Action Group (MPFAG), which said the fields were “highly valued” by residents.

Mapledurham playing fields are run by an RBC-controlled charity with the objective of providing and maintaining a recreation ground for the benefit of inhabitants of Mapledurham Parish and the Borough of Reading.

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The MPFAG said the land was designated for community use and a school would break the agreement.

However, one of the town’s biggest ever consultations revealed that most residents thought the school should be built on the playing fields.

The High Court rejected the group’s appeal against the development in December 2018 and confirmed the plans would go ahead.