Plans for a new ice rink in Bracknell have skated through to victory! These plans, submitted by ET Planning on behalf of their client, offer a much needed community leisure facility but also demonstrate the importance of finding, utilising and making better use of an existing, redundant building in a core employment area.
The proposed plans received a wealth of community support with over 300 letters sent to the council detailing the need for this leisure facility, particularly since the John Nike ice rink in Bracknell was closed in 2020.
The new ice rink will be housed in what is currently a redundant industrial warehouse. The land and building has now received change of use permissions allowing for a professional training and coaching ice skating facility to be installed.
The ice rink will be located on the ground floor with associated facilities such as changing rooms, showers/toilets and offices for the manager and coaches. The first floor will provide an ancillary training area with further changing room facilities and a mezzanine floor containing a bar area and further office space.
Matthew Miller, the project manager of this case at ET Planning, submitted the planning proposals and entered into detailed discussions with the council, particularly over the location of the chosen building and parking and transport concerns.
Firstly with regards to location, leisure facilities are normally directed towards the town centre first but the proposed site in this case was selected due to its size and ability to host the new facility, however, it was out of town. A sequential test was completed by Dan Hay, an Associate Planner in the ET Planning team, and given to the council as evidence as to why available buildings closer to the town centre were not suitable. This analysis assessment was accepted.
Another area requiring further negotiation with council was regarding parking concerns particularly around nature of use. With the support of John Russell from Motion Transport plans were proposed which maximised the site parking layout and also the provision of a travel plan. These negotiations were instrumental in receiving the overall support from the council committee and the subsequent planning approval.
With recommendation for approval by council officers at Bracknell Forest Council, the council committee subsequently granted change of use planning permission and the transformation of this industrial warehouse to a glistening ice rink can now move forward.
The team at ET Planning, on behalf of their clients, are skilled and experienced to enter into detailed negotiations with the council officers; to listen to their concerns and questions, and to provide evidence where required to support proposals. This case demonstrates this perfectly and shows the positive outcomes that can come from it, which in this case include; a fantastic result for their client, a new, much needed leisure facility for the community, employment opportunities in a prime location and the reuse of a redundant building – bringing it back to life.
If you would like to speak to our experienced team of planning specialists please contact us today and we’d be happy to advise on your planning project.