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Memorial Park

Memorial Park provides a much-needed sports and recreation park for the  community. It has now become a reality and is one of the largest projects ever achieved for this village.
It provides:

  • A fantastic new play area created with support from Tarmac. The Play Area also has an accessible roundabout funded by Boshier Hinton Foundation, a buddy bench donated by Florence House Care Home and picnic benches donated by SOHA.
  • A 60m x 40m multi use games area (MUGA) divided into three sections – a bookable polymeric surfaced area with basketball, football, netball and tennis markings; a free to access tarmac surfaces area with basketball, football, netball and tennis markings and an open unfenced tarmac surface for free play.
  • A flat, grassed playing field for large games and a smaller flat, grassed area for small games.
  • A 3m wide perimeter path for cycling, walking and running, with slalom markings, distance measurements and a measured 100m straight.
  • The MUGA will be illuminated and the lighting will be installed over the next few months. The lights will be allowed until 9.30 in the evening and the choice of type has been carefully considered to limit the impact on the night sky, wildlife and the surrounding area. Wayfaring lights will also be installed around the whole perimeter track in due course.
  • A second pedestrian route to the park has been created from Farm Close. This ancient pathway used to be the tractor route when the field was used for agriculture. It has been gifted to the Memorial Park and has been cleared, re-surfaced and has safety barriers at each end. Drop kerbs will be installed for easier access into Memorial Park from the end of this new footpath, once permissions are in place. 
  • A pedestrian route is also open from Lambourne Road with a walk through the new homes of Sonning Grove.
  • Landscape planting, across the whole site, includes Cherry trees and hedging. Native trees and plants have been chosen so more shade can be created.
  • Picnic benches and seats have been provided through the Councillor Grant Fund, and special wooden benches have been donated by the Hammond family and Alan and Carole Lewis.
  • In future, it is hoped to provide a facility with toilets, a café and community space for a range of activities.

Booking of the MUGA and other parts of the park are managed by Sonning Common Parish Council. For booking enquiries and calendars, see http://www.sonningcommonvillagehalls.co.uk/


The creation of Memorial Park
The dream has been to turn the former agricultural field, opposite Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School, into a thriving community hub with facilities and activities to suit all ages, interests and abilities.
Memorial Park is owned by Sonning Common Parish Council. The 4.1-hectare site was gifted to the community as part of an agreement to develop new housing on the adjacent field, Sonning Grove, through the 2016 Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Over the past four years a project team – consisting of councillors and volunteers – has secured the transfer of the land to the Parish Council, planning permission for the ground works and planning permission for future lighting.

This £750,000 project has been funded by contributions from housing developers, through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The operation of the site and its maintenance will be funded by parish contributions and fundraising.

Sonning Common Parish Council Memorial Park Play Area Visual
 

This ‘as built’ plan shows the location of all the facilities. The blue lines indicate drainage pipes and the red lines show ducting for lighting cables.

Plans for the site evolved after an initial public consultation in 2018. Further community research was carried out in 2021 to help decide on the facilities and equipment to be provided.

John Stoves, chairman of Sonning Common Parish Council, said: “The Parish Council is extremely pleased that Memorial Park is now ready for public use, creating a unique recreational and sporting space for the benefit of the residents of Sonning Common and the surrounding area. It recognises the hard work of the working party involved and we thank them for all their efforts.”

Chair of the working group, resident Diana Pearman said: “We are truly delighted to see our five years of work come to fruition. Many, many hours have been devoted by dedicated members for us to reach this moment. This will become the active hub of our community for people of all ages to enjoy.”

 

With thanks to all who have contributed time and help:

Parish Office
Philip Collings
Becky Jenkins
Ros Varnes
Sara Underwood
Members of the working party
Diana Pearman
Penny Snowden
Leigh Rawlins
Alan Gibbon
Ian McGowan
Vicky Boorman

 
 
 
Sonning Common's Memorial Park Update


Memorial Park is one of the largest projects ever achieved for this village and there will be a few more in the coming years once the village centre comes online.
Many residents will have kept an eye on the progress of the groundworks on Memorial Park and will have noticed that the grass has grown well and the MUGA (multi use games area) is surfaced and fenced.
A decision has been taken by the Parish Council that the land should be allowed to settle and further works will be completed before opening. It was felt that to open and then close down various areas would cause safety and further maintenance issues, so the plan is to open when all areas are useable. The following works are scheduled to be undertaken.

  • The play area will be constructed at the cost of £100,000. This amount was awarded through Becky Jenkins writing a successful bid to Tarmac/Lafarge. An additional donation of £2,000 has been awarded by Boshier Hinton for accessible equipment.

Residents were invited to have a look at the layout on the 6 November and the feedback was used to adjust the layout. The site design has been awarded to Kompan after a tender process.
The work should commence at the beginning of February and take at least a few months, depending on the weather.

 

Sonning Common Parish Council Memorial Park Play Area Visual
 
  • The MUGA will be illuminted and the lighting will be installed over the next few months. The lights will be allowed until 9.30 in the evening and the choice of type has been carefully considered to limit the impact on the night sky, wildlife and the surrounding area. Ros Varnes had negotiated the planning application and its successful permission. Way faring lights will also be installed around the whole perimeter track.
  • Landscape planting, across the whole site, will include Cherry trees and hedging. Native trees and plants have been chosen and again planting times will be weather dependent and probably will happen in the Spring. Leigh Rawlins will be managing this aspect of work.

 

  • A second pedestrian route onto the Park will be from Farm Close. This ancient pathway currently overgrown, used to be the tractor route when the field was used for agriculture. It has been gifted to the Memorial Park. Penny Snowden is tasked with managing this accessible route. The first pedestrian route is already open from Lambourne Road with a walk through the new homes of Sonning Grove. The park when open will encourage pedestrian and walking/cycling access and the cycle racks are already in place.

There will be regular updates in the magazine, and on the Parish Council website, detailing the progress of the work, towards opening Memorial Park, for all to enjoy.
Diana Pearman
Chair of the Memorial Park working group


 
Sonning Common's Exciting New Facilities

Now that the diggers have moved onto Memorial Hall Field on Reade’s Lane the dream of providing a much-needed sports and recreation park for the village is becoming a reality.

By July the contractors will have constructed a 60m x 40m multi use games area (MUGA), flat playing field, a wide perimeter path for exercising along with new landscaping and fencing.

As funds allow the MUGA will be developed for a range of sport and activities which could include basketball, netball, hockey and outdoor fitness. A children’s play area is planned along with facilities for teenagers. In future, it is hoped to provide a community building for people to play sport, socialise and enjoy a range of activities.

The dream is to turn the former agricultural field, opposite Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School, into a thriving community hub with facilities and activities to suit all ages, interests and abilities.

Memorial Hall Field is owned by Sonning Common Parish Council. The 4.1-hectare site was gifted to the community as part of an agreement to develop new housing on the adjacent field, Sonning Grove, through the 2016 Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Over the past four years a project team – consisting of councillors and volunteers – has worked hard to secure the transfer of the land to the Parish Council and planning permission for the ground works, now underway. A planning application for lighting the MUGA and perimeter path is currently being considered.

The £519,000 cost of the ground works is being met by contributions from housing developers while future facilities will be funded by grants and parish contributions.

 

 

Sonning Common Parish Council Memorial Park Layout Graphic

 

The transformation of a former agricultural field into what is hoped will become a thriving community hub for sport and recreation started on Monday 22nd March.

Sonning Common Parish Council approved a £519,000 contract earlier this week for ground works to begin at Memorial Hall Field, off Reade’s Lane.

Phase one of the work will involve the levelling and shaping of the 4.1 hectare site to create flat playing areas, a wide perimeter path, multi-use games area (MUGA), fencing and landscaping.

Eventually it is hoped to develop a community sports pavilion, play and picnic areas at the field, which is opposite the Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge secondary school and within a short walk of the village centre.

Plans for the site evolved after an initial public consultation in 2018. Further community research is planned to establish which sport and recreational facilities residents would use at the site. Basketball, netball, volleyball, hockey and outdoor fitness could be among the activities offered along with parkour, climbing and possibly a zip wire.

The site was gifted to the Parish Council as part of an agreement to allocate the adjacent field for a new 50 home development, Sonning Grove, through the 2016 Neighbourhood Development Plan. A £266,000 contribution towards the phase one works came from the developer of Sonning Grove with the remaining costs also covered by development levies.

There is currently a recognised deficit of sport and recreational provision in expanding Sonning Common which has around 1,800 homes and a population of about 4,300. The new facilities, designed to suit all ages, would also serve residents in the wider locality.

The four-year project to develop the field has been driven by the Memorial Hall Field Working Party, made up of councillors and residents. So far, the group has achieved the transfer of the land to the Parish Council, drawn up plans for the development of the new recreation space and secured planning permission for the
groundworks plus an access from Reade’s Lane.

Carole Lewis, chairman of Sonning Common Parish Council, said: “The Parish Council is extremely pleased to report that work is about to start on this land. It will create a unique recreational and sporting space for the benefit of the residents of Sonning Common and the surrounding area. It recognises the hard work of the
working party involved and we thank them for all their efforts.”

Chair of the working group, resident Diana Pearman said: “We are truly delighted to see our four years of work come to fruition with the start of the groundworks in this first phase of development. Many, many hours have been devoted by dedicated members for us to reach this moment. This will become the active hub of our
community for people of all ages to enjoy.”

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Contacts:

Parish Clerk:
Philip Collings
Chairman:
John Stoves

Office

address:Sonning Common Parish Council
Village Hall
Wood Lane
Sonning Common
Reading
RG4 9SL

phone: Tel: 0118 972 3616

Copyright © 2019-2024 Mike Henson and Sonning Common Parish Council