Plans to redevelop the Pinewood Centre in Crowthorne have been met with scorn.

The Pinewood Centre located off Old Wokingham Road is the home of a number of sports clubs, athletics clubs, societies and the 2nd Scouting Club.

The centre has recently been identified as a place for redevelopment in the Wokingham Local Plan update.

Specifically, the Pinewood Centre has been identified for ‘self funded redevelopment’, with some of the money generated from any housing built on the site being invested back into facilities both within the centre, or if appropriate, given to clubs should they wish to relocate to a new home.

READ MORE: Thousands sign petition against redevelopment of 'much loved' Pinewood Centre

But the mere notion that the popular centre could be redeveloped has been blasted as ‘absolutely abysmal’.

Roy Stallwood said: “Absolutely abysmal decision to even consider development of such a valuable public facility.

“This sums up the worst in greedy developer’s who bulldoze through communities destroying any local amenities in the pursuit of money and leaving sterile bland housing with no facilities near by.”

In a similar vein, Graeme Bateman argued that the current facilities in Pinewood are of much more value than any new housing that could be built there.

Mr Bateman said: “The Judo and gymnastic centres have produced World Champions and Olympic athletes, the Venture Scouts have helped communities both locally and internationally plus so much more.

“Many have been enriched by their time at Pinewood, and have gone on to make a positive contribution and a difference to the world.

“Which cannot be said about councils and developers, who are looking to add a few numbers to a spread sheet.

“Invest in the people of tomorrow, make a difference, not just a quick profit.

“With all the housing projects currently going on within a 20-mile radius, do not tell me there is a need for more houses.

“The need is for people in those houses to have somewhere to go to do something of value.”

READ MORE: Wokingham Local Plan update - how you can have your say about plans for thousands of new homes

A petition on voicing opposition to the redevelopment of the Pinewood Centre has received 3,762 signatures. You can sign it here.

One man expressed a growing fear that Wokingham and Bracknell will merge into one continuous settlement if green spaces and facilities like the Pinewood Centre aren’t protected.

Ben Saunders said: “We all know Bracknell and Wokingham will be joined up in a matter of a few years, it just a matter of time before Bracknell, Wokingham, Reading, Crowthorne, and Sandhurst become one mega sea of houses.”

Sarah Brooker argued the dated buildings are functional and do not require redevelopment.

She said:  There isn’t anything wrong with the buildings it’s just another excuse for flattening it and building houses on. We’ve heard this excuse so many times now, it’s perfect the way it is.

READ MORE: Huge changes coming to Wokingham as sites selected for Local Plan update

Meanwhile, Andrew Milnthorpe actually supported the redevelopment of the centre, saying that the facilities would be best placed elsewhere.

Mr Milnthorpe said:  “Redevelop it and get that gym built in Wooden Hill.

“In the mid 1990s, when I attended Pinewood as a primary school kid, the Nine Mile Ride did not have its pavement (which only ran for a short distance between the roundabout and the end of the Wooden Hill footpath), the Golden Retriever did not exist, and the Pinewood Roundabout was a very congested crossroads instead, which meant it was not possible for people to walk to it, causing my parents to have to drive there from Hanworth.

“A gym in Wooden Hill would have been much easier for us to get to, and we could have even done it on foot.”

The counter point to Mr Milnthorpe’s view is that Wooden Hill is in the Great Hollands area of Bracknell, and not the parish of Wokingham Without which the Pinewood Centre is located in.

It is therefore debatable whether Wokingham Borough Council would support clubs from Pinewood relocating outside the borough itself.

Meanwhile, people from the Great Hollands estates can make use of sports facillities at Great Hollands Pavilion, Bowls Club, and the Recreation Ground.

The prospect of redeveloping the Pinewood Centre forms part of the Wokingham Local Plan update which is currently undergoing a consultation period.

You can take part in the consultation on Wokingham Borough Council’s Engage website: